Moving Fire Overwhelms Napa Home, Kills World War II Veteran and Wife

Moving Fire Overwhelms Napa Home, Kills World War II Veteran and Wife”

Charles Rippey, 100, and his wife, Sara, 98, were not able to escape when fires that have killed at least 17 others across the state engulfed their home in Napa on Sunday.

One of the couple's sons, Mike Rippey, said his father, who turned 100 in July, met the woman who would be his wife when they were children living in the U.S. state of Wisconsin.

"We kids would always talk about what it would be like if one of them died and the other was still alive, " one of their sons, Mike Rippey, 71, told The New York Times.

"And you just have to look at that and just, you know, be happy that that's what happened and they died together and they never wanted to leave each other", he said.

Mike Rippey told KPIX that his parents met as children in a small town in Wisconsin. There were the remains of the garage and an old Lexus, now a charred heap.

The Register, which announced the Rippeys' 75th anniversary, described Charles as a World War II veteran, who later worked for Firestone Tire and Rubber Company and Norris Industries.

The Rippeys got married before the war took him to North Africa, France and Italy; when he returned, they settled down to have children, five in all. Sara, an avid bridge player, took care of the family and a succession of handsome homes. Mr. Rippey doted on his wife, buying her jewelry and calling his wife "the Queen".

They have lived in Napa for 35 years, which is longer than they have lived anywhere else in their lives. A caregiver was at the house that evening and had cooked dinner for the Rippeys.

He explained his father was sleeping in a different room, but was found trying to make it to Mrs Rippey's room.

"She went down to get my father and all the windows started to explode and (there was) smoke and heat and all that everywhere, " their son Chuck Rippey told NBC Bay Area.

Mike Rippey saw his parents often, going over for dinner two or three times a week. He was often accompanied by a sibling or one of the Rippey's grandchildren.

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