A relentless series of wind-driven disasters left at least 42 people dead and destroyed thousands of homes.
“The tones went off late at night early in the morning," said Josh Freeman, battalion chief for the Cosumnes Fire Department. "And I think everybody had a pretty good idea they were gonna be at work for a while.”
The Cosumnes Fire Department in Elk Grove sent several engines and several firefighters to fight the flames. Days into their long shift, Freeman would find out that somewhere in a leveled neighborhood were his family's burned belongings.
“My cousin and her family, they lost their house," Freeman said. "They were in one of the hardest hit places, the Coffey Park area, so... ”
So, they’ll be at work for a while too, putting their life back together.
"They should have a sense of a normal Halloween in the midst of all the chaos,” said Liberty Ranch High School student Abbey Haas.
Haas and her classmates began collecting donations of candy and costumes at four locations: Liberty Ranch High School, Galt High School, Cosumnes Fire Station 45 and Station 46 in Galt. They plan to pass them out Oct. 30 in person to kids affected by the fires.
“We’re gonna write little cards and have encouragements on them,” Haas said.
Chief Freeman said it feels good to know that his cousin's daughter has the support of strangers.
"It says a lot about our youth nowadays, to think beyond themselves,” he said.
All of the addresses for the Galt donation drop-off locations can be found below:
Liberty Ranch High School, 12945 Marengo Rd.
Galt High School, 145 North Lincoln Way
Cosumnes Fire Station 45, 229 5th St.
Fire Station 46, 1050 Walnut Ave.