Fire Captain Loses Everything While Saving Homes Of Others

By Ethan Cole on
 October 16, 2020

Firefighters in California have rarely fought so hard as they have this year. Many have worked over 60 days battling wildfires. While most hold the comfort of a home they can return to, some have lost even that.

Santa Rosa Fire Captain Mike Musgrove had partnered with his brother and a friend to buy a 37 acre property with 3 houses on it. They had pooled their savings and taken out a cash loan to buy the foreclosure. Because it was not a traditional home buying process, they could not insure the property until they owned it.

Santa Rosa Fire Capt. Mike Musgrove was “ready for a win” when his brother, Sean, asked if he’d partner with a friend to buy a 37-acre parcel on St. Helena Road with three homes, a small vineyard, room to garden and raise animals. It was supposed to be a place to get the five teenage children among them off their phones. For Musgrove, it was just the opportunity he’d been hoping for since the sudden death in 2018 of his 20-year-old daughter, a step forward that would help with the grief deeply felt by him and his other daughter, who is 17 years old.


The property became theirs on Friday September 25th the Glass Fire broke out early Sunday morning September 27th. They had tried to call about insurance but it was going into the weekend. Unfortunately, they were unable to get coverage.

The Glass Fire, fueled by heavy winds, made many evacuations necessary and a call went out for every available firefighter in the area to meet at Calistoga Road and Hwy 12. Captain Musgrove put aside his worries about the new property and got to work. He helped evacuate Seniors from a home before joining the firefight along Hwy 12.

While out saving the homes and lives of others, Musgrove's new property was leveled by the wildfire. Three homes and a bridge were destroyed. Musgrove and his partners financial futures are in shambles.

Musgrove's reaction, of course, is heartbreaking:

This was the perfect worst-case-scenario,

This loss, I have a lot of anxiety. I'm at a loss of what to do,


As we walked through what was going through my mind was what is it going to take to rebuild. What it's going to take to rebuild the structures. Put the grapes back in. Put up the barn. And still, have that dream that seemed to be kind of slipping away,


This is an especially heart wrenching tragedy because the victim was a hero, a man who had participated in the saving of thousands of homes over his 15 year career.

This is a perfect situation where we can stand with those who stand for others. Please take the time to consider donating to the rebuilding effort by visiting the GoFundMe page set up by a friend of Captain Mike Musgrove.

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