Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Elderly Rancho Bernardo couple stays home

Posted @ 6:27 PM

While the entire community of Rancho Bernardo was evacuated Monday morning, an elderly couple … totally unaware of the danger facing them … remained blissfully in their home.

Hyman and Helen Cohen, ages 90 and 87, did not leave their home on Camino Emparrado until late Tuesday, said their daughter, Nancy Cohen.

Up until then, the couple stayed in the house, without electricity. They had no idea that their neighborhood had turned into a ghost town threatened by a ferocious fire.

Cohen said her parents did not hear the reverse 911 message left on their answering machine because the power was out and they didn't question the outage because they knew there were some fires in the county, Cohen said.

When Cohen finally got ahold of her mother and asked what she thought was going on, her mom simply said they didn't know the fire was anywhere near them.

When she looked outside, she thought the smoke obscuring the sky was fog.

Officials became aware of the couple when they finally decided their home was too hot without electricity and called 911 Tuesday afternoon.

San Diego police officers decided that it would be best if the couple stayed put. They, as well as city firefighters, promised the worried daughter they would keep them under their collective wings. One officer even brought them food.

"They were the only ones left in all of Rancho Bernardo," Cohen said.

After hearing that the couple was alone in the community, police escorted family friends to their home. They packed up the couple and whisked them off to Oceanside.

-- Debbi Baker


John S said...

This brought a tear. Glad they'er ok.

Nancy Cohen said...

I and my sister Jyl and brother Larry are very grateful to the RB PD for responding so quickly when they received the 911 call from my parents Tuesday afternoon and for assuring me that they and the fire chief commander would make them a top priority until the fire was contained. We are also so grateful to their friends, Michael & Elenor, who had just learned that their home had burned down, but still never gave up trying to reach my parents until they were finally given a police escort to their house where they helped them pack a few essentials and took them to a friend's house in Oceanside where they had been staing since Sunday night. My Mom is relieved they are safe and with firends and that she can finally cook a hot meal for my Dad!