For me and my wife, we were surrounded by those who truly care. After escaping the fire from our Paradise home on Filbert Street we connected with friends that allowed us to stay in their place in Doe Mill subdivision. Doe Mill was evacuated sometime after sunset. When we left we were stopped at Bruce Road to allow two dozen fire engines through 20th street. We made our way through Durham-Dayton to find some obscure almond grove and stay in my sister’s fifth wheel overnight. They had escaped the fire as well. Friday morning dawned calm, cold, and smoggy. We readied ourselves to travel to Contra Costa and stay with our daughter and sons-in-law while we recuperated.
We are forever grateful that the kids were so attentive to our needs to supply clothing, food and shelter when we arrived. A go fund me account was already established and receiving donations. My brother-in-law brought us bags of clothing and shoes from the GAP where he manages. He also treated us to a lunch at a trendy local pub. The lead clerk at Hercules Walmart gave us two gift cards after we asked for a discount. A woman in the parking lot at the Ross store in Pleasant Hill gave us a twenty-dollar bill when she overheard us say we were from the CampFire. All this was very touching. There is so much goodness in people.
The long-distance support was also truly amazing. We talked to Aunts and Uncles and those friends and family we don’t usually make contact with. We are forever grateful for the support and understanding from these folks.
Upon returning to Chico just before Thanksgiving our good friends opened the door to their vacant studio flat in Doe Mill and allowed us to stay until we could re-establish ourselves. I often think of them as two angels coming down from (heavenly) Butte Meadows to save us.
We are both back at work. I actually started with FEMA to help applicants into housing, and she with a human resource office. We have our own place now. Our house is gone, and I am learning to practice some resilience. Again, we are truly grateful for all who helped us with this situation.