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08/31/09 11:00 PM ET

SoCal fires force Furcal to evacuate home

Dodgers shortstop among many LA residents impacted

LOS ANGELES -- While in Denver on Thursday, Rafael Furcal got an alarming call from his wife. Authorities had issued a mandatory evacuation of their Flintridge neighborhood as the raging Station Fire approached, and she didn't know what to do.

"I tell my wife, 'You know what, get clothes for the kids and take the car and get out of there,'" Furcal said. "Life is more important than anything."

Manager Joe Torre didn't start Furcal on Monday night, in part as a breather after the flight from Cincinnati, in part because he knows Furcal's had to deal with the fire north of Dodger Stadium that killed two firefighters and forced the evacuation of 10,000 homes, including Furcal's.

Furcal said firefighters saved his house as the blaze passed by. His family returned to their home on Sunday after spending four days at a nearby hotel.

"The fire was coming all the way down," he said. "It was as close to my house as home plate to first base. Very close. There's still a lot of security up there. You have to show your ID and demonstrate you live there. Many people don't want to come back to their house yet."

Juan Castro started at shortstop on Monday night for the Dodgers.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.