A Malibu, California woman who lives next door to GUNS N' ROSES frontman Axl Rose with her husband and three children credits the reclusive singer with helping save her home during the wildfire in Southern California that left six firefighters hurt and destroyed dozens last November.
A two-minute interview with the woman, who was not identified, conducted in November 2007 by the Los Angeles TV station Fox KTTV can be viewed below. A transcript of the chat follows:
Axl Rose's neighbor: "We just got home. We were in Santa Barbara for our anniversary — my husband and I had our 24th anniversary — and our daughter called us at 5 o'clock in the morning. I heard the words 'fire' and 'evacuation,' and I immediately knew, 'cause I've lived here for so long that I know what that means. And we tried to come back here, but, this fire was roaring in Malibu and, of course, they wouldn't let us in. So our children went to a friend's house in Beverly Hills and waited for us. We were there until this morning 'cause they didn't let us back in — it was too dangerous to be up here."
Reporter: So you didn't know at all whether your house was OK until this morning?
Axl Rose's neighbor: "No, I did. I did. And the reason I did is that we have a neighbor that is just — and I hope it's OK to say his name — we have Axl Rose as our neighbor, and him and Beta [Lebeis], his manager, they saved our house together with the firefighters. Because they pushed the gate open and took the hoses that were lying around and they just hosed down whatever fire there was in the trees, in the palm trees, and they saved our house, they literally saved our house — I mean, they literally saved our house. And my husband was in contact with Beta, but they didn't let us up, so we couldn't do anything, we just had to surrender and pray and hope."
Reporter: So it was because of them that your home…
Axl Rose's neighbor: "Yes, it was because of them and that one firefighter — I mean, all the firefighters, but there was one in particular; I forgot his name now, 'cause I'm still a little nervous. Yeah, they saved our house. We're just blessed."
Reporter: How long have you lived here? And you have your son that lives with you?
Axl Rose's neighbor: "Yeah, we have actually three children. We've been here for 13 years, so we've been through many fires, but this was really the worst. The '96 fire was bad, because it was also in the Corral Canyon and then came here, but this one, it was just [that] the winds were so bad — I mean, they were just roaring through the canyon. And it was so hot. We're very lucky. We're just so… I mean, I feel so blessed, I can't tell you.
Reporter: And good neighbors.
Axl Rose's neighbor: "Yes, we do. We have good neighbors."
Beta Lebeis, who lives on Rose's property, told the California TV station KCAL-TV that the rock legend also fought to save his own home. "He helped a lot," she said. "He did a lot. He was with the hose everywhere. Then the firetruck came in and locked us. So then they told us, 'Just close the garage doors and just go back in. There's nothing you can do,' because it was like an inferno outside."