Spaghetti Feed Fundraiser Planned for Stockton Pallet Fire Victims

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STOCKTON -- There's an emptiness left behind on East Weber Avenue in Stockton -- in the soot on the sidewalks, the burned-through mailboxes and the still-standing chimney of a hollowed out home.

But for every hole created by a pallet fire nearly two weeks ago, there was a neighbor who came to fill it with donations on top of donations.

"I just had someone come from Lake Camanche just to bring laundry detergent so we could clean the items donated from the community," Nakisha Thompson said.

Thompson lost everything in her home to smoke and water damage. She says her family can't live in it because the roof caught fire and could collapse at any minute.

She's one of several people who came to city council Tuesday night to thank Councilwoman Christina Fugazi for helping them in direct ways.

"I think we really need to work on having some type of fire disaster protocol," Fugazi said.

Fugazi is working to improve the city's response to fire damage and organized a fundraiser Wednesday night -- it's from 6 to 8 p.m. at Stockton's Memorial Civic Auditorium.

"I just knew that I had to do something. I had to do something to help these families, and I knew that there were other people in this community that would jump at the chance to help them as well," Fugazi said.

She was right.

Stockton Firefighters Local 456 stepped up to cook dinner for a crowd expected to be around 300.

"We don't have any recipe, we just kind of go with the flow of what we have," said Mario Gardea with Stockton Firefighters Local 456.

That's OK because that's exactly how this neighborhood has been making it for two weeks.

The city of Stockton posted notices on the property on Monday, requiring the owner to remove the burned pallets by June 18. This is something the people who used to live here wished the city would have enforced soon, before everything caught fire.

Code enforcement says it cited the owner of Hugo's Pallets on May 9, giving him 20 days to fix the issues. But neighbors say they had been complaining about the property for months.

"For all of the people that donated, they didn't have to, but they did. They thought of us. So we want to thank them all for all they've done for us," Thompson said.

Tickets for the fundraiser are being sold, here.


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