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Westlake Village under siege as Woolsey fire burns homes and strains nerves

The Woolsey fire swept into the Westlake Village area Friday, burning homes and spreading anxiety among residents.

While the area was under a mandatory evacuation order, many residents stayed behind Thursday night.

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But Friday morning, the flames moved closer, fanned by fierce winds.

Several homes were burned, and firefighters were racing to save others.

Residents stood together watching smoke rise behind a row of homes on the ridge of a hill.

Romina Sandjan, 56, watched the fire approach from a driveway near Foxfield and Saddletree drives. She said the orange and dark gray skies reminded her of homes she lost to wildfires in the Philippines.

“I’m fearful,” she said.

Jim Young, 70, a tall man with silver hair, said he was nervous.

“I’d like to see them put it out,” he said “I’m hoping for the best.”

They looked up at the smoke again. The winds had calmed and the smoke nearly dissipated.

“Still nervous,” Young said.

Fire trucks roared down the street and curious neighbors drove up the hill to see the flames for themselves.

Young stood quietly watching. It’s all he could do as the fire raged on, behind the hill. A woman stopped her car and got out to have a look.

“Those hills are on fire, you should probably leave,” she said, getting back in her car and driving away.

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