Local attorneys help North Bay fire victims who lost everything

SANTA ROSA (KRON) — Local attorney’s are joining together to help victims of the North Bays fires with free legal advice.

Representatives from five different law firms met in Santa Rosa Sunday to answer some of the pressing questions from people who have lost their homes and are confused about what to do next.

The meeting lasted a little more than two hours and was held at the Friedman Events Center in a part of the community that was spared by the fires.

But so many of the people who attended live throughout Sonoma County and, unfortunately, lost their homes.

Barbara Winestock is one of several hundred people who showed up.

She wanted to listen to the group of attorney’s who held this town hall meeting because she knows they have experience in representing people dealing with disasters.

“Yesterday, I got help sifting though the sand, or the ruble, and found a couple little rings, but everything is so melted,” Winestock said.

Winestock’s home in the Coffey Park community burned to the ground and, like others, she had questions about homeowner’s insurance and what to do about a mortgage on a house that no longer exists.

“I think the one nugget is review your insurance policy every year is probably the best advice I can give to folks,” said fire victim Enrique Lopez. “Because you really don’t know what’s there until you read it.”

“I’m glad I came,” another fire victim said. “It was a good way for the community to get together and hear from some other people that are not the insurance company, what kinds of issues that we’re going to be dealing with.”

There will be another of these events for anyone who missed it.

It is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday night at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Santa Rosa.

The American Red Cross is also opening a Client Service Center to help fire victims.

The center is located at 5297 Aero Drive, Santa Rosa and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Sunday, Oct. 29.

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