Elderly Couple Loses Home in Fire - NBC Southern California
California Wildfires

California Wildfires

Coverage of brush fires across the state

Elderly Couple Loses Home in Fire

The Thomas fire started in Ventura County and scorched hundreds of thousands of acres as it burned into Santa Barbara County

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Elderly Couple Left With Nothing Following Thomas Fire

    Even during this difficult time, evacuees in Ventura are thinking of their neighbors. Christine Kim reports for the NBC4 News at 11 on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017. (Published Monday, Dec. 11, 2017)

    It's tight quarters, but Ruth and Jack Forehand, their daughter Dawn and dog Bambi are grateful.

    "I'm so thankful we're alive," Ruth said.

    Their home of 40 years was one of the hundreds destroyed by the Thomas Fire.

    "It's just hard to watch, hard to be happy," said Andrea Reynolds, a neighbor who helped the Forehands. "Your home is standing when you know how much people are suffering.

    Time-Lapse Shows Rise and Collapse of Wildfire Smoke Plume

    [LA] Watch: Time-Lapse Shows Rise and Collapse of Thomas Fire Smoke Plume

    Video posted Tuesday Dec. 12, 2017 by the Ventura County Fire Department shows the dramatic rise and collapse of a wildfire smoke plume in Southern California. The Thomas Fire began Dec. 4, 2017 in Ventura County and burned more than 230,000 acres as it moved into Santa Barbara County. 

    (Published Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017)

    Through giving hearts, they stayed in a motel room, relying on donations.

    But Reynolds says that's temporary and they'll need more help.

    In order to help a family member, the 83 year olds signed over the deed to their home. Now, they have nothing left and nowhere to go.

    Reynolds said they accepted a loan from a friend and trusted somebody they thought they would get their home back after they paid them back but they didn't.

    They paid home insurance thinking it was their home but it isn't.

    The displacement is especially hard for Jack. He's a Marine veteran and former reverend who suffers from dementia.

    Thomas Fire Grows to 234K Acres

    [LA] Thomas Fire Grows to 234K Acres

    The Thomas Fire grew to 234,000 acres while it also reached 20 percent containment. Gene Kang reports for Today in LA Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017.

    (Published Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017)

    "He kept saying, 'Come on, I want to go home,' and I said, 'Jack, we don't have a home to go to anymore.'"

    Reynolds wants to open up her home, but the neighborhoods nearby are still unsafe and still under a mandatory evacuation order. Crews are working on power lines, downed trees and other hazards. To help the Forehands go here.

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