"She went down to get my father and all the windows started to explode and (there was) smoke and heat and all that everywhere," he told KNTV. "She just couldn't find them."
Mike Rippey told KPIX that his parents met as children in a small town in Wisconsin.
“He was in sixth grade and she was in fourth grade,” he told the news station. “They went to the University of Wisconsin together and have been together ever since.”
The couple celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary in March, according to an announcement published by the Napa Valley Register. Charles Rippey served in Europe and Africa during World War II and went on to a career with the tire company Firestone, according to the notice. Sara Rippey was a homemaker who loved to play bridge.
The couple lived in Napa for more than 35 years.
"We kids would always talk about what it would be like if one of them died and the other was still alive," Mike Rippey told The New York Times. "They just couldn't be without each other. The fact that they went together is probably what they would have wanted."
At least 17 people have been killed in the wildfires raging across California. Seventeen wildfires in seven counties have destroyed more than 2,000 homes, businesses and other structures.
The wildfires rank among the five deadliest in California history, and officials expect the death toll to rise as the scope of destruction becomes clear.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Images of the Northern California Wildfires