Disabled Army Vet and Family Forced to Relocate to Idaho After Camp Fire

This CrowdRelief Disaster Survivors Story was created for Tanessa Smith by Tanessa Smith who is helping them rebuild their lives. 02/09/2019 9:30 PM

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The morning of November 8th, 2018, started just like any other.  It quickly turned into an ugly, hurry-up-and-wait, try to get out, run for your life, is my husband alive, is my son alive, are we going to live day.  A situation like I had never been in before. 

We left our home at 9 AM to try to evacuate to the next town.  It is usually a 25 minute drive.  We arrived there at 6 PM.  We had spent several hours trying to evacuate.  I ended up trapped in a parking lot for five hours watching everything around us burn to the ground, wondering if my husband and son were out and alive.  We were in separate vehicles, and ended up separated from each other after about two hours on the road.  At one point before the parking lot, we were made to get out of our vehicle and run, because the fire had surrounded us.  I made the decision to get back in our vehicle and try to drive through the flames.  It was a choice that I feel saved the lives of my mother, my three daughters, and myself.  A few hours into the parking lot, I got a message that my husband, son, and our dog were on their way to a different town nearby.  When we were finally allowed to leave the parking lot, we drove through a burned down town, some parts still fully engulfed in flames, and some parts smoldering. 

We are a family of six, plus a fur baby named Molly.  My children are 14, 12, 4, and 2.  We stayed with family for two months after the fire.  Last week, we relocated to Idaho.  My husband is a disabled Army veteran, so the VA has helped us some, but we are still in need of a few things.  Especially with the snow that came yesterday.   We have no snow clothes.  We have applied for every disaster relief fund, grant, and application available.  We were either denied, or have used what we were given on relocation and living costs.  Any help is greatly appreciated. 

Photo: KTXL - A Tribune Broadcasting Station  - https://fox40.com/2018/12/11/camp-fire-death-toll-climbs-to-86/

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California Camp Fire Disaster Survivor
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Cajun Navy Foundation
10231 The Grove Blvd Unit 37
Baton Rouge, La 70836

California Camp Fire
Recovery Stage
Current Housing Situation
Living in a Rental House
Other Factors