VIDEO: Petaluma church helps 100 evacuees from North Bay fires


PETALUMA (KRON) — Of the 20,000 evacuees from the massive North Bay fire, more than 100 are being helped at the Cavalry Chapel in Petaluma.

They opened their doors at 9 a.m. Monday morning.

There’s been a massive outpour of donations as people jumped into action and quickly established the site as one of the dozens of evacuation centers.

Community members are coming together to help the evacuees who have been forced out of their homes in the early morning hours.

Since 9 a.m., Cavalry Chapel in Petaluma has already welcomed 140 people, forced out of their homes from fires burning across the North Bay.

“Nothing you can do about it. All you can do is try to help,” evacuee Cassandra Dublosky said.

All day long volunteers have reached out to local businesses and into their own pockets to bring food, blankets, and toiletries for evacuees.

Some of the volunteers have been impacted by the fire themselves.

“Had a couple call us from the church that were evacuated, and they stayed in our home, and I realized that my grandmother was in Oakmont, and I was trying to call her, and I couldn’t get her,” Cavalry Chapel volunteer Zachary Vestnys said. “So, I ended up driving up there, ate 5 o clock this morning, and everyone was coming the other direction.”

Suspicion is growing among the public whether the 14 fires burning across three different counties were manmade.

“The fire is going, like they said it’s hitting homes, it’s hitting neighborhoods, it’s typically in the woods,” Dublosky said. “It went over north and southbound of Santa Rosa 101. It’s just an odd place to have fires starting.”

This center has a capacity for 250 people and allows pets too.

This evacuation site has been accepting donations all day, but they tell KRON4 the biggest need they have at this time is for cots.

They are something that people can sleep on because there is no end in sight for this fire, and so they are expecting there to be housing people here for at least the next couple of days.



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