"I thought we were dead," Jim Reynolds said with a nervous chuckle.
The whole ordeal lasted about 15 minutes, but felt much longer for the couple.
"It felt like 15 hours with him," Karen Reynolds said.
Dorner, Reynolds said, first asked them to remain calm. Reynolds screamed and attempted to escape before Dorner caught up with her.
"I never even knew my reaction would be to run, but it was," she said.
Dorner tied them up and told them they were a means to his end, and wanted their car to escape.
"At first he kneeled down beside me and said, 'You're going to be quiet, right? Don't make a muss, don't try and get loose. Give me time,'" Jim Reynolds said.
The Reynoldses finally managed to break free and untie themselves after Dorner escaped with their car.
Earlier reports said that two female maids were taken hostage by Dorner.
After Dorner fled the Reynolds' cabin, he moved to another cabin in the area where he apparently engaged in the shootout with police before the building was consumed by flames.
"We did not intentionally burn down that cabin to get Mr. Dorner out," San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon told reporters Wednesday evening, although he noted that pyrotechnic canisters known as "burners" were fired into the cabin during a tear-gas assault in an effort to flush out Dorner.
The canisters generate high temperatures, he added.