AGOURA HILLS (CBSLA) — Hundreds of Southern California firefighters were honored Saturday for the work, above and beyond, during the recent string of wildfires that beset the region.
The event was held in Agoura Hills and KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen talked to firefighters and the citizens honoring them, some of them TV and movie stars and rockers.
Jason Scheff from the legendary music group Chicago led an all-star band to say thank you to Southern California firefighters for their work, bravery and heroism battling the blazes.
Last November’s Woolsey Fire destroyed the Malibu Lake home belonging to actor Robert Hays of “Airplane!” fame.
Even though his house was a total loss – he wanted to be here.
“They’re really terrific, terrific guys. They’re up against insurmountable odds,” he said.
He’s talking about the strong winds that fueled the flames that were at times deadly.
The risks the crews took inspired a handful of business owners to show their gratitude.
“It’s all about showing our appreciation for the firefighters who did their best to save as many of the homes as they could,” said event organizer John Scardino.
So they rounded up some of their famous friends like Robbie Krieger from The Doors.
John O’Hurley of “Seinfeld” fame was the emcee,
Other names included Patrick Warburton (Seinfeld’s Puddy) and Christopher McDonald AKA Shooter McGavin from “Happy Gilmore.”
Lance Sterling, owner of the Canyon Club, and his wife opened their doors to the men and women who not only protect their community but live here as well.
“So we saw how hard they work. And how they were putting everything on the line all the time. So we thought it’d be nice to go out, feed them shrimp, lobster, crab. Let them have a good time,” Sterling says.”Open bar.”
Most of the firefighters were too modest to go on camera.
But Michelle Phillips can tell you the sacrifice her husband had to make when the Thomas Fire reached their Santa Paula neighborhood.
“My neighborhood was evacuated. I was very concerned. My husband was on the call that day. He didn’t come home for several weeks. So, it was hard,” Phillips says.