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Community comes together in wake of Lilac Fire


Last updated 1/11/2018 at 3:50pm

Amidst the climate of disaster, Fallbrook, Bonsall and the surrounding communities have rallied together in an attempt to bring each other some much-needed relief.

The American Red Cross responded to the Lilac Fire in Bonsall, accommodating evacuees at the East Valley Community Center in Escondido. Volunteers lined up at the front desk, eager to help those in need. Bruno Todd brought crates of Lego's for the kids to play with in an effort to distract them from worrying about their homes.

As they worked together creating little Lego toys, the children helped each other find pieces needed to complete their projects.

Deyanir Belt sat with her daughter, Brianna, who worked diligently on her project.

"She's building a house," Belt explained.

The mother and daughter shared laughs while Brianna built the house, alleviating some of the stress that went with their situation.

"We might have to live in this house," Belt said as the two laughed together.

Somehow the nature of simply playing together helped make light of possibly losing their home.

At the shelter, the Red Cross was well equipped to provide for all those in need. Health services personnel were present to provide medical attention. The Humane society had staff on location to care for animals and even provided crates for dogs. Boxes of extra cots, blankets, and supplies lined the walls of the gymnasium. The only amenity missing was showers.

Lesley Kloby from Bonsall was on her way to pick up her son and daughter from Bonsall Elementary School, but they had just been bused to the Fallbrook Community Center. Her car broke down in the middle of evacuation, but after a series of bus rides, she was reunited with her family and dog at Fallbrook High School. The family, along with their dog, was transferred to Escondido.

Vickie Strickbine from Valley Oaks in Fallbrook was with her son Alex. They talked about losing their home in the 2007 Rice Fire.

"We lost everything," Vickie said.

Despite her situation, Vickie remained strong in her faith, helping to organize a prayer group at the shelter and giving praise for the dream home she was given that, thankfully, still stands today.


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