PHELAN (CBSLA.com) — The Blue Cut Fire destroyed more than 100 homes in San Bernardino County but it didn’t destroy the spirit of a community.
Residents of the hard-hit town of Phelan banded together Saturday to help gather goods and necessities for those in need. Many of the people who lost everything are now living in tents.
On Saturday and Sunday, volunteers will be giving away donations. Victims will receive everything from toys, clothes to toiletries.
CBS2’s Adrianna Weingold was there as neighbors helped neighbors.
Andrew Shih had just a couple of minutes to get out of his home as the Blue Cut Fire raged nearby. He made it out safely, along with his wife, but everything they owned was burned to nothing.
“It’s heart breaking. Whole life savings, collections, memories, I had some antiques and paintings, it’s all gone,” said Shih.
Shih lived just a few miles away from the spot that today is all about giving.
Maria Almaccan also lost everything in the fire.
“I lose everything, I don’t have nothing,” said Almaccan.
The fire began on August 16th — in addition to destroying an estimated 105 homes, the fire burned more than 200 other buildings and 36,000 acres. It also forced the evacuation of 82,000 including Mark Plese.
“They always describe it as a war zone but it’s something out of a sci-fi movie when you look out in my backyard,” said Plese.
For Shih, today’s event means clothes and shoes, things others might take for granted. But it’s so much more. It’s the help he needs to get back on his feet and rebuild his life.
“There’s a tragedy, there’s disaster, people all coming to help, doesn’t matter what age what color, what age, made no difference, everybody helps,” Shih says.
On Sunday, the event continues at the parking lot of J&D T-bird, 3936 Phelan Road, Phelan, CA 92371.