The widow of Charles Schulz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip, was forced to evacuate the California home the couple shared as fire raced through Santa Rosa, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
Jean Schulz fled her hillside home, which was built in the mid-1970s, about 2 a.m. Monday, her stepson, Monte Schulz, told the Mercury News.
"She is very resilient," he told the Mercury News. "She is energetic and pragmatic and very tough."
Jean Schulz is president of the board of directors for the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center built in Santa Rosa two years after the cartoonist’s death in February 2000. Most of his collection of original comic strips, artwork and memorabilia featuring characters Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts Gang, is housed at the museum, which was untouched by the fire.
"But there were a lot of Peanuts things in the house," Monte Schulz told the Mercury News.
The fire affected other members of the Schulz family, the Mercury News reported. Monte’s brother, Craig Schulz, who lives in Santa Rosa with his family, also lost his house in the fire.
"It’s sad. It’s erased," Monte Schulz said of his father’s house. "Everything that was in there, every connection we had to dad vis-a-vis that house, is gone now."
Before Charles Schulz’s death at age 77, the Peanuts comic strip appeared in 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries.