"How do I get through this? How much can one person take?" Camille recalls thinking on the day her Malibu mansion burned down.
"Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" viewers didn't get to see Camille Grammer or Denise Richards sip champagne with their co-stars in France on Tuesday's episode of the Bravo series because they were back home fighting off one of the most destructive wildfires in California's history.
The Woolsey Fire -- just one of the many fires that was raging through the state in November 2018 -- consumed Malibu and claimed the home Camille had lived in since her very public divorce from Kelsey Grammer.
"This was my first house after my divorce, and now that's taken from me. It's devastating," Camille said on Tuesday's new hour. During the subsequent "RHOBH After Show" on BravoTV.com, both she and Denise were given the opportunity to go into more detail about the chaos they experienced and the devastation they faced as a result.
"The day I'm supposed to leave [for France], I get two phone calls on my phone saying, 'Mandatory evacuations,'" Camille recalled. "[My husband] David's sitting there; he's looking out the front of the house going, 'I only see blue skies!' I go, 'Well, look out the back.' You could see the smoke coming up... The fire was moving so quickly. The winds were 65, 70 mph, and flames shooting up over the canyons. We were in the line of fire."
"Cops come up the street: 'Mandatory evacuations. Please leave your home now!'" she continued. "[We thought,] 'Oh my God, it's happening. We're right in the zone.' So we're trying to get things that we can fit in the car. I'm like, 'Please take this art. Please. It's a Marten, it's very expensive, it's valuable to me.' And [David's] like, 'I can't fit it in the car.'"
"Thank God I had some clothes I had packed for my trip to Europe with the girls," Camille said, adding that her daughter, Mason, "didn't have anything."
"We called down the coast trying to find hotels and places to stay; everything was booked," she explained. "So we found a beautiful place -- the [Fairmont] Grand Del Mar. They got us a room. I went down there with my daughter, my husband."
Camille said she found out her home had burned down from Lisa Vanderpump.
"That night, I'm on the phone with Lisa Vanderpump. A very good friend of hers, Robert Kovacik -- who was on the scene, on the ground, reporting about my house -- was calling and texting Lisa, 'Is this Camille's home?' So Lisa and I get off the phone, she gets the picture and she said, 'Yes, that is Camille's house,'" Camille recalled. "It was surreal. It was. That moment was so surreal to me and Mason. And I'm going, 'How do I get through this? How much can one person take?' I've said to God, 'Okay, you've tested me on so many levels. What lesson do I need to learn now? What is this about?' I'm still processing it all to this day."
Camille said she's unsure about what to do with the property her mansion used to sit on. "I love the land, I love the property, I think the views are outstanding, but I'm not sure if I wanna live there again because of the emotions I have for the loss, the fire," she explained, noting that since November, she and Mason have been living in a trailer.
"I purchased a small -- it's a double-wide trailer," she said. "It's beautiful. I've got great views. It's small. I don't know how much -- I'm guessing 1,100 to 1,500 sq. ft. We're on top of each other. You know, it's a little too close for comfort at times, but my daughter, Mason, said to me, 'You know, Mom, I like being here!' It's a big change for us, but she's like, 'I like it. I like my room.' It's teeny. It's the size of a closet! She's got a bunk bed; she stays in the bottom bunk. I guess she feels safe. It's like she's in a cocoon, and we spend more time together as a family."
Although Denise's home did not burn down, the possibility was still very real for the former model. She, too, was getting ready to leave for France when she and her family were forced to evacuate.
"I've been through a lot of fires in Los Angeles. I've only been evacuated once -- this was the second time -- and I just felt so helpless," she recalled. "Like, trapped, and I've never felt that before."
"I had a nanny come early in the morning because I was leaving for France with all the women. I thought I was still gonna go on the trip. I didn't know how bad it was," she said. "I realized how bad it was when I saw the fires literally come down, and then they jumped to Point Dume. I've never seen a fire jump like this."
"We just put the nanny in a car with the kids, and we just said, 'Start leaving,'" Denise continued. "We had to get the dogs. We were in two cars. I actually was scared because there was no movement on [the Pacific Coast Highway]. And the cell towers kept going out. Me and Camille were trying to talk to each other, and we would communicate 'cause there would be patches of cell service 'cause a lot of the towers were burnt down."
On top of worrying about her immediate family, Denise was also concerned for her ex-husband, Charlie Sheen, and his parents.
"I felt so horrible for him 'cause his f--king parents didn't evacuate, and then they ended up at Zuma Beach, and he couldn't get a hold of them 'cause the cell towers were down," she explained. "It was after hour four, I had to pull over to a porta potty I saw. And for people that're watching this, it normally takes 15 to 20 minutes. Four-and-a-half hours, and you see the fire and smoke going. And as you move down PCH, the fire moved with you. It is un-f--king real."
"[My husband] Aaron was in front of me. I go, 'I'm gonna run into the divider at this point. Like, I'm ready to crash this car,'" she added. "We all just started going on the other lane, the opposite. It was like, f--k it. It was like to save your life. I've never seen anything like this."
An "After Show" producer asked Denise to clarify if she meant she drove into oncoming traffic.
"Yeah," she replied, "which was firetrucks, ambulances. We didn't give a shit. Otherwise, you'll die."
Denise added, "There was over 450,000 people evacuated. This was like, everyone came together -- doesn't matter how much money you have, if you're famous or not -- to survive."
"So we got to Long Beach area. Twelve hours it took us. It was on a Friday. I've never been so happy to see a f--king Holiday Inn Express. I would've slept in my goddamn car at that point! I've never been through something like this," she said. "It was so crazy."
"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Bravo.
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