Firefighters donate to fire victims

Firefighters donate to fire victims

CHICO, Calif. - Some people who lost their homes or had them damaged in two big fires recently got a little more help Tuesday from those who put out the fires.

Two apartment fires in Chico burned within a two week period affecting 30 people. Chico firefighters reached into their own pockets to help them get back on their feet.

They handed out four checks to the victims of the two apartment fires.

"It equates to 12 families that were displaced," said Captain John Keslo, with the Chico Fire Department.

A fire ripped through the Redwood Park Apartments on Pillsbury Road last Friday. It burned two apartments. One man was burned and had to jump from a second floor window to escape.

The other happened on Memorial Day at the Manzanita Gardens Apartments behind Pleasant Valley High School. It was originally reported as a fence fire, but the flames spread, damaging four units.

"My children were outside having a water balloon fight and came upstairs and told me the house was on fire," said Angelyn Arroyo, a resident of Manzanita Gardens Apartments.

On Tuesday, some of those fire victims got a little help.

"Our family is very blessed from all of the donations; especially from the fire department. This is sweet," said Arroyo.

Arroyo, Rafiki Webster, Melissa Kee and Theresia Prior visited Fire Station One to receive their donation, and thank the firefighters for their helping hand.

"[I'm] shocked but a beautiful blessing," said Arroyo.

"It'll help me get some clothes to get reestablished. Not a lot, but something to walk around in," said Webster.

The Chico firefighter's checks first go to the Ray Head Memorial Foundation.

"He was our only firefighter that lost his life in the line of duty," said Keslo.

The money then goes to those displaced by fires in the City of Chico.

"Most of the money comes out of our pockets," said Keslo.

"These guys are phenomenal," said Arroyo. "The job they do, that they put their lives on the line each and every day."

Investigators said the fire on Pillsbury Road was caused by an unattended pan of grease left on a stove.

Chico Fire still has a few more checks to give out in the next couple of days.

If you would like to donate to the fund you can visit any Chico fire station to make your donation.

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