The 252,500 -acre Thomas Fire had taken nearly 1,000 structures as of Friday, December 15, 2017. CAPS Member Robert Fastenau and his six-member family escaped; thankfully with their lives, but their home was destroyed. Read the story of what happened in his own words below:
"We are struggling with severe losses and grief while remaining thankful for the dark minutes without any power/light that allowed us to safely escape the fast moving fire that destroyed our home of 25 years. Our home is made up of a multiple generational family including elderly handicapped parents who live with us and lost all their possessions along with essential medical equipment and medications. Our household is displaced with 6 members of the family and 2 small dogs.
We lost our home and 3 vehicles (including family RV), all our family photos (over 100,000), portraits and even all our holiday gifts. In addition, we lost our family wedding quilts and handmade blankets made for grandchildren and great grandchildren. We lost every little thing. One cannot imagine the stress of reaching for a nail clipper, a pair of scissors, a pair of pants or pair of slippers that no longer exist and realize [sic] that everything must be purchased from scratch at a significant cost just in time for the holidays.
Our family has been challenged in finding affordable temporary housing due to the size of our family, the handicapped limitations and family pets. We have gone from not so good hotels to friends homes and now we are in a rental pay by night house. It is very difficult to place a large family with doggies all complicated by the timing near the holidays."
He and his family were able to escape the blaze without injury; however, they have lost the entirey of their home and possessions within it. While insurance claims are being filed, Robert and his family are in immediate need as they are living without a home. Donations received will be provided directly to Robert to help with basic necessities during this crisis and are greatly appreciated.
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