Tubbs Fire: Converse Family

The Tubbs Fire began about a mile from my In-Laws home in the rural hills of Calistoga. They had no warning. There were no evacuation notices. No neighbors to wake them. Luckily, my Father-In-Law, Gary Converse, woke to the smell of smoke, went outside and saw the embers in the sky. Having retired from CalTrans, and being an Army Veteran, he has witnessed countless natural disasters. He has spent his life working mudslides, floods, fires to keep his family, friends, community, and country safe. I can’t help but think this connection to Mother Nature helped to save their lives. They acted on instinct and left the home they love, the home they spent years working and saving to build, in a rush. They had to leave their beloved cats in the frenzy, praying for the best. As it was, they had to drive through fire to get to a safe location. It was all so sudden. They retreated to the bottom of the hill, staying close enough to not get blocked by the evacuation line (aware of how these things work). After hours of anxiously waiting in the dead of night, when they believed the threat had passed, they began the drive home. With trees still burning, they made it to the top of the hill and saw their home, and all of the memories held in it, reduced to ash and dust. Everything taken from them in a flash.

Gary and Barbara Converse are now staying with family in Napa while trying to put their lives back together, like so many. Sadly, they are unsure of the fate of their beloved cats, but will hold out hope for their safe return. Knowing Gary and Barbara, they will put others first and will go out of their way to help their neighbors rebuild. They’ll give the shirts off their backs to help others. I am hoping you’ll help to keep shirts on THEIR backs through this process. Even in the face of tragedy, they would never ask for help, but would offer help tirelessly, which is why we, their only son and his family, are reaching out to you. Your assistance will go towards temporary housing, food, clothes and other basic needs. Our family appreciates any help you can offer. Including sharing this to reach a broader audience. Thank you to all my friends who have reached out offering help already. We are so lucky to have such an incredible network of friends and family. We love you and we thank you.

With Gratitude,

Garrett, Renee and Family
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Renee Converse 
Calistoga, CA
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