Thursday, October 25, 2007

Staying behind in Dulzura

Posted @ 3:06 PM

DULZURA - Roger Corkum and a 30-year Dulzura resident known only as "Biker
Tom" stayed behind after being ordered to evacuate Sunday.

On Thursday, both were driving a water truck house to house, making sure
animals left behind had water and food. They covered an area of Dulzura that
included Hatfield Road off Highway 94.

"That's the Velardi house," he said. "What's smoldering right there burned
to the ground."

Most of the homes along Hatfield Road survived, but at least three were
lost. Corkum estimated about 10 to 15 people stayed behind and all were taking
care of neighbors' homes and animals.

One of those people who stayed behind was Leon Herzog, owner of the
Barrett Junction Cafe, which survived the fire. Corkum said Herzog has
been providing free breakfast and dinner for anyone who shows up at 9 a.m. and
6 p.m.

Corkum's water truck was put to good use by three Tijuana firefighters -
Gustavo Rivera, Francisco Martinez Rangel and Roberto Perez - who were on
their second day fighting the Harris fire.

"We're staying at Gillespie Field at night but coming back here in the
day," Rivera said in Spanish. "There are still a lot of small fires."

The three firefighters were part of a group of 32 who had been putting out
those small fires along Highway 94. They put out a small fire at the Velardi
house today using water from Corkum's truck.

A trampoline was about the only item on the property untouched.

Corkum thanked the Tijuana firefighters.

"Very good," said Corkum as he patted Rivera on the back. "Thank you very

- Janine Zuniga


Anonymous said...

I'm just glad none of the people who decided to stay behind ended up looting the houses. I can see that happening next time.

People staying behind with their houses and ending up looting other houses instead.

Anyone who stayed behind after beeing told to evacuate needs to be arrested. I dont' care what "good" they may have done. What if the fire's ended up in their back yeard and the fire fighters had to save "biker tom's" life instead of saving his house or your house. How happy would everyone be then??

Anonymous said...

I would say you have never been evacuated for days, then told by the officers at the barricade that you cannot return home even though your area is no longer under mandatory evacuation. Regardless of the reason, like, an animal you could not catch and bring with you that you are worried about. I would never think that one of my neighbors that stayed behind to save and protect their own home would loot. My neighbors DID stay behind and were nice enough to call me and tell me my home was still there! When you have been through this as many times as many of the rural residents have you would not make such comments about your neighbors. You would likely be thankful to have such neighbors.

Anonymous said...

Gees, that was smart. I hope that the government doesn't waste our tax dollars paying the surviving members when these people refuse to evacuate.

I don't think the cops should even arrest them.

I guess it's good that they survived.

Looting or no, much of the items would've been damaged anyways by the fire.