Valley Fire: Residents escorted to take care of animals find homes destroyed


MIDDLETOWN (KRON) — Lake County Sheriff’s deputies have been escorting exhausted residents from the fairgrounds back into the fire zone, so they can either try and find or at least leave food out for their pets or livestock.

KRON4’s Maureen Kelly went along with one man who went back to Middletown for the first time since being chased away by the flames.

Jon Strieter was lead into Middletown Wednesday by a deputy. He took pictures with his cell phone to show his friends what their properties looks like.

One friend lost his house, but his chickens were OK. His chicken coop was still standing.

Jon works at Harbin Hot Springs. He said he is pretty sure the tent he lived in there is gone.

On Wednesday, he checked out another friend’s home — a house he hopes to move into when the evacuation order is lifted. Luckily, he was able to confirm what they were praying for.

“They will be so happy to see their house,” Strieter said.

Jon had 15 minutes to check out the place and to feed the three cats they had to leave behind when he and friend escaped the flames. He couldn’t find two of them, so he left food in hopes they are okay.

“They were pretty elusive to begin with, so I think they are okay,” Streiter said.

He did find one, hiding in an upstairs bedroom.

Tilly ran outside, but looked to be in good shape, so he freshened up her water bowl and put out more food. And he thanked the deputy on the way out.

He said he was feeling relieved for his friend, who still has a house and cats to come home to.

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