“65-70 MPH winds pushed the fire into Santa Rosa. A neighbor woke me up at 2 AM and said we had to evacuate. No one had any idea that the fire would spread and destroy a residential neighborhood in our town. We packed just a few things with no real expectation that our house would ever burn. It’s not like I live in the hills or in a forest. Once we loaded up with just our animals and a small bag of clothes we left our house and one car behind. As we drove out of our block I realized how bad the fire had become. I drove to the police station to help with evacuations leaving my wife and kids to find someplace to stay. I grabbed a police car and drove back to my neighborhood to evacuate people.
I am not unique in that as the firemen were trying to do what they could all of the men and woman of our police department were helping get people out. I helped 4 elderly people that were unable to walk to get to their vehicles to leave. One elderly man that just had hip surgery was unable to stand and he did not have a wheel chair. After literally dragging him to his car his wife drove the man through the flames and out of the area. I stood two blocks from my burning home in the choking smoke and nearby flames so I could direct people to safety.
Since that day we have all ran on 4-5 hours of sleep per day just to return to work and do whatever we could to help our community.
My wife has been strong and brave, handling all of the complications that go with your house burning down so I could continue to help and serve the community. Without her I could not do what I do.
We are sad, scared about our future, angry we lost everything but grateful to be alive. So many people did not make it out. I am proud of my wife, proud of my children and honored to work with my coworkers that saved so many people. Pray for us as we go through the rest of the process of rebuilding our lives.”
We ( Jesse’s family) are asking for any help that you can provide. As you can imagine, there will be many expenses associated with this tragedy. The family needs basic living necessities, furniture, funds for their insurance deductibles, a car, and home.
Lastly, we want to thank you all for your donations and please keep the family in your prayers. All donations are appreciated for Jesse, Delyse, Adi and Bryce.
(made by Amber Ludikhuize Shelberg and Christine Ludikhuize Rodriguez, Jesse’s sisters; originally from Redlands, Ca)
- Michelle Ulloa
- Direct Impact Fund
- Megan Paige
Organizer and beneficiary
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