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“We are so grateful for everything you guys [Los Angeles Fire Department] have done for us.” – Maria Rodriguez, SAVE card recipient on Thanksgiving Day 2015
On December 23, 2015, the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to call to find a small one-story house engulfed in flames. An electrical cord overload or malfunction sparked the non-injury blaze, and the family of four was able to escape the fast-moving flames moments before the Fire Department arrived. The house was a total loss after the fire and the family lost all of their possessions. Due to the severity of the blaze, Chief Fortman with LAFD provided the displaced family with immediate monetary aid via the California Fire Foundation’s SAVE Program to help them in the aftermath of the fire.
After their Pasadena home was destroyed in fire, Mike and Debbie DeVore used their SAVE card to help purchase groceries. They were able to temporarily stay at a friend’s home, and the SAVE card helped them get back on their feet. “We want to thank you for reaching out to us with the SAVE credit card gift. We plan to use it for groceries as someone has allowed us to stay at their home…The SAVE card truly is a blessing to us and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.” – Mike and Debbie DeVore, SAVE Card Recipients, Pasadena
During January 2016, a family of four was displaced in North Hollywood after their home and attic became well involved in flames. Firefighters were able to resuscitate the family’s cat, but they unfortunately lost their dog in the blaze. The family was issued a SAVE Card to help them recover in the aftermath of the incident.
Seven residents were displaced by a house fire in South Los Angeles on January 17, 2016. Firefighters arrived on the scene to encounter a one-story house engulfed in flames and smoke which they were able to extinguish in 23 minutes. Thankfully all seven residents escaped and only one person was treated for minor smoke inhalation. The home suffered significant damage and the family was given a SAVE card to provide immediate assistance.
A massive fire broke out on April 29, 2016 in Koreatown and quickly spread to nearby homes. Firefighters arrived to see a two-story Craftsman home well involved with flames and a collapsed roof. Fire companies prevented any injuries and saved a small dog that was found in the backyard of one of the damaged homes. Thankfully the dog was given a clean bill of health and crews prevented further damage to the neighboring homes. The incident displaced 19 people and the LAFD provided SAVE cards to the two families impacted by the fire.
A fire that broke November 6, 2014 in a home near downtown Santa Barbara left the residents homeless, according to the Santa Barbara City Fire Department. A male resident was provided with financial assistance through the Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency program, which the Fire Department just joined.
On Christmas Day 2013, Caroline Reimers experienced a devastating garage fire in her Sacramento home that took the lives of her elderly father and two parrots. Receiving a SAVE Card “helped [her] heart,” as was very important to her as it meant that somebody out there cared for her.
“It’s one of those things you think ‘My God, what are we going to do, what’s going to happen?’ You never image leaving your home and never coming back. We weren’t even thinking about ‘Well what do we do?’ At that point we were just numb standing there, we had two garbage bags and no place to go. They did their job, they stopped the fire, they didn’t really have to do much more but they just really went above and beyond what they needed to do.” – Erika Crooks, SAVE Card recipient.
“We had a structure fire at a single family dwelling which received about 50% damage and displaced a family of five including a special needs child. We extended a SAVE card to the family the night of the incident, the next morning I ran into the family back at the scene. They were very thankful for the SAVE card as the whole family was able to have dinner the night before, they explained that they had sent in their house and car payments and money was tight and with the help of the SAVE card they were able to have a meal in spite of their situation. It definitely made my day to be able to share the program with them and thankful for the CFF’s SAVE program. ” – Cedric Cesena, City of El Centro Fire Department Battalion Chief
“It’s a great program. We’re proud to be able to do it. Every time you have a fire, it’s a tragedy (so) I think it’s a nice gesture (and) I think it will go a long way to help.” – Harold Schapelhouman, Menlo Park Fire Protection District Fire Chief.
“The SAVE program allows first responders to basically put their arm around the shoulder of victims of fire and natural disasters to get through the worst times of their lives.”- Mike DuRee, Long Beach Fire Chief.
“SAVE lets us provide aid immediately, so folks can get a hot meal, buy some clothes or maybe find a place to stay at night.” – Gaudenz Panholzer, Monterey City Fire Chief.
A handful of people were displaced from their homes on Thanksgiving Day 2015 after a fire erupted at a three-story condo complex. The Long Beach Fire Department handed out gift cards to families whose homes sustained at least 25% damage. “It allows the Fire Department to put an arm around them and say, ‘Here’s a small something to help you immediately.'” – Jake Helfin, spokesman for Long Beach Fire Department.
“A lot of times, people are woken up in the middle of the night, they only have time to grab their kids and their pets. The money can help with the essentials on the worst day of their lives.” – Long Beach Fire Capt. Matt Dobberpuhl
“The California Fire Foundation does a lot for our firefighter families and the communities we protect. We’re excited to work with the Foundation and with our department to offer a little help to fire victims.” –Anaheim Fire and Rescue Captain/Paramedic Bob McClellan
“We’ve all been in those situations where a family is standing outside in a daze as their lives go up in flames. We can’t restore all they’ve lost, but a SAVE card can help them through those first difficult 24 hours, and maybe help them feel a little less lost and alone.” – Chris Mahon, president of Ventura County Professional Firefighters Association Local 1364
“This is truly a great endeavor to further aid and comfort our residents that are impacted by disasters,” Brad Dover, President, Monrovia Firefighters, Local #2415
“As a fire district, one of our core values is trying to help people in their time of need whenever and however we can. The SAVE Program allows us to provide help to our residents that are impacted by a substantial incident,” said Fire Chief Brian Helmick, East Contra Costa Fire Protection District. “We are proud to now be participating in this valuable program that enhances the services we provide to our community after an incident.”
During October 2017, the Perry Family lost their home and all of their belongings in the Nuns Fire. “It is gut-wrenching to lose everything we have worked hard for over the course of our lives. We are getting through this by relying on the kindness and generosity of friends, family and strangers alike. Thank you so much for the $100.00 gift card. We really appreciate it and will put it to very good use.” Elysa, Michael and Samantha Perry, SAVE Card recipients.