California Fire - Stories


The Walker Family
On Sunday, October 9, 2017, Melissa and her family went to bed just like any other night. She and her husband, Martwann, got the kids prepared for school the next day, lunches made, clothes out for everyone....it was another routine Sunday night at the Walker house. In the middle of the night, Melissa was restless and she could smell smoke. She didn't think too much about it since the news said there could be wildfires and it was extremely windy. She figured there was a fire in the hills somewhere far away and they could smell it. As Melissa said, “I have never been so wrong in my life.”

Her phone rang about 1:30 in the morning, and it was her stepson’s mom, who lives nearby in Larkfield across the freeway. She said she was being evacuated and suggested they start packing right away. They went into flight mode, grabbed a couple suitcases, and started packing. Their son Jason, who just turned 18, was up and they told him to start packing. They woke up their 12-year-old daughter, Ayalani, and told her to pack as well. Melissa was frantic and wasn't sure what to grab, but she was trying to think clearly. She got a few days of clothes for everyone, toothbrushes, and some food and water. She then grabbed the photo albums and the older kids helped her grab pictures off the walls and shelves. Then she woke up her 6-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son and got them in her husband’s truck. By this time, it was about 2am. The neighborhood was gridlocked with cars trying to get out. By 7 o’clock that morning they discovered their whole neighborhood had been burnt to the ground.

Melissa still can’t explain the deep devastation she feels for her children who have lost
everything. They lived there for 7 years and the neighborhood is now unrecognizable. Melissa and her husband grew up in Santa Rosa and want to stay close by. Her family is currently looking for a new place to live. They will need to replace everything and start over.


Adelina, Miranda and Angelica 


On the night of October 9th, Adelina and her 13-year-old daughter, Miranda, were forced to flee their Northern California house with no time to spare. They did not have enough time to save ANYTHING! They lost everything they own in the fire. Adelina and Miranda lost all of their clothes, their beds and Miranda’s laptop, which she needs for school.
Adelina is a single mom who was renting a room in a house in Santa Rosa, which was one of the first houses to burn down in the fire. She has no renter’s insurance and will have to start over again with nothing. This family could use some help right now! They are staying with a friend and are struggling for just the basics. It would be awesome if we could help to replace Miranda’s laptop, but their greatest need right now is for clothes and everyday hygiene supplies.
Their friend, Angelica, worked a full-time job in Santa Rosa. Sadly, her place of business has burned down and she is not able to pay rent or provide food for her family. She is currently looking for a job, and she is hard-working and dedicated, but with so many businesses gone in the area, jobs are not easy to find.


The Keller Family


Sheila Breen-Keller has sadly lost her home and all of the family's belongings in the devastating fires that ravaged through Napa and Santa Rosa areas on Monday, October 9th, 2017. They had little warning and almost no time to evacuate as the fire rapidly crossed over the freeway and into their neighborhood around 2am Monday morning.

They are blessed that Sheila, and her son Daniel, were home at the time of the fire. They were able to safely evacuate with their beloved dog & cats. However, they are now dealing with the loss of their home. Sheila's son and daughter, Katherine, have also lost all of their belongings aside from a few items of clothing. Sheila has been separated from her husband for some time now, but even he had his family heirlooms stored at the house as well as his Nikon camera. If there was one thing he could actually replace it would be his camera, in case someone has a connection to a new camera.

Sheila and her daughter had been recently collecting items for Katherine's baby girl that is due in February. Sadly, they lost those items in the fire as well. It was 27 years ago that the Keller family built their house together in a sweat equity program. They literally helped build the home that they lived in. They are currently living with friends.