"Around 10:30, it started smelling like smoke and raining ash," he said. "After about five minutes, my friend came in and yelled, 'Hey, you gotta go.' He was screaming. It just sounded like a freight train. We saw a wall of flame. It was scary."
What may have been scarier is what he saw when he hiked back in on Tuesday.
"I was frightened to go to my house, so I went to my neighbors'. They were just holes in the ground I came up to my house, it was still smoldering. It was just dust, nothing left," Kulikowski said.
A total of 169 homes have been destroyed by the fire. Another 24 are damaged.
Kulikowski is now left with only the shirt on his back, a pair of shorts and sandals.
"I didn't know what I needed. And then I realized, yeah it's kind of nice to have shoes," he said, managing a laugh.
What he really needed was a place to rest his head. That is where property manager Lisah Brown stepped in.
"His friend said, 'My friend lost everything,' and I said, 'Grab him,'" she said.
She gave him the key to one of her properties that is not being used. It is fully furnished and easy to live in.
"She said, 'Here's the key, here's my name and number, I'll talk to you tomorrow,'" Kulikowski said.
Kulikowski says her gesture is helping him put one sandal in front of the other.
"Trying to put the pieces together one puzzle piece at a time," he said.
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