Bringing neighbors together after Golden Gate Estates fire

The 36th Avenue SE fire has finally been contained. But it’s caused much destruction to the Golden Gate Estates neighborhood and to the families living there. While some lost homes, others lost pets and sentimental items no dollar amount can replace.

For residents like Bonnie Kubicsek, losing just about everything can be heartbreaking.

“After they evacuated us out of here, he got the firefighters out in the road,” Kubicsek said. “The fire came up and swept right up along the sides of the house.”

But Kubicsek is grateful for the help that she did get.

“If it wasn’t for the smart, quick thinking that this deputy did … he unplugged the pool over here, and it was drenched and put water out through here … which I believe really saved our house,” Kubicsek said.

“I had a panic attack,” Kubicsek admitted. Anyone watching the home they loved burn to the ground would be in agony, of course. “I had one of the deputies that stood by me and said, ‘Calm down.’ He actually helped me he said, ‘Take a deep breath.'”

That kindness is what Kubicsek and others needed when their community was being torn apart by fire. The deputies even helped save her pig.

“He came over and helped my husband pick her up and put her in our SUV,” Kubicsek said. “It just happened so fast. She would have been dead.”

But times like these bring communities together and show everyone just how cared for and connected we are. Staff from Palmetto Elementary School have been checking in on the families of students affected by the fire and providing them with donations.

And Bonnie Kubicsek and her family received their own support, in the form of a house to return to, from someone she’d never even met.

“The deputy … he is a big part of that,” Kubicsek said. “We seriously left here … knowing we had anything to come back to … and when we came back … we had our house, so I’m grateful for that.”

The Salvation Army has been provided much-needed relief to victims of this fire including first month’s rent on a new place and vouchers.

If you would like to contribute, The Salvation Army is also accepting donations. They say monetary donations work best and all donations help. The Salvation Army even gives you a bit of background information on the family your donation will be helping. Be sure to put Golden Gate Fire Victims in the memo line.

Wildfire Survivor Summaries

Click to access Wildfire-Survivor-Summaries-names-removed.pdf


Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
Writer:Drew Hill
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