The deadly Northern California fires — which have been raging out of control since Sunday, claiming 31 lives — have burned down the Santa Rosa home of late cartoonist Charles Schulz, creator of the beloved comic strip Peanuts.
Schulz’s son, Monte Schulz, told the AP on Thursday that his stepmother, Jean Schulz, was able to evacuate, but the family home went up in flames. Schulz lived at that residence, which was built in the ’70s, until his death in 2000. “It’s the house he died in,” said Monte. “All of their memorabilia and everything is all gone.”
The Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center — which is also located in Santa Rosa and houses much of Schulz’s work featuring Charlie Brown and friends — has not been damaged. Jean serves as president of the museum’s board of directors. Schulz has been an important figure in the community, and the Santa Rosa airport is named after him: the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport, which boasts one of his most iconic creations, Snoopy, flying on his doghouse.
The Peanuts comic strip ran in 2,600 newspapers while Schulz was alive, and dozens of Peanuts TV specials featured Charlie Brown and the gang.
Officials say more than 3,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed in the Northern California fires, which started Sunday.=