Author Topic: Sad News  (Read 2193 times)

ualani

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Sad News
« on: November 14, 2018, 08:16:15 AM »
Most RTMM forum members who have been around for a while are most likely familiar with J.J. Yolton, a.k.a. "jsapair."  I helped him with several computer and RTMM problems in the past, we've struck up a long distance friendship outside of RTMM, correspond back and forth upon occasion, and have even had phone conversations. J.J. lives in the mountains of Northern California near an old mining town, not too far where the  infamous Oroville Dam, which was in danger of collapsing last year, is located. This is the same area that is currently being ravaged by the Camp Fire-Paradise wildfire. I got this email from him late last night that he wanted me to share with the RTMM community.

"It got us. First indication we had that a wind-driven fire was even coming was when a propane tank in the area exploded, followed by huge billows of smoke. I thought a plane crashed. Then saw flames across the street. Time to go. Thankfully my kid was here visiting. We got my travel trailer hooked up, managed to grab my guns, laptop, and a tote bag of clothes, and hauled ass. When we left, the house directly across the street was in flames.

The escape route was a joke, total gridlock, and both my vehicles were low on fuel. Had to leave them along the way and ride with my kid, who was towing my trailer. I think my vehicles are out of the fire perimeter but I'm %99 sure my house is gone, as indicated by an attached picture of my neighbor's house. The town of Paradise is virtually wiped off the map...stores, banks, businesses...a disaster of epic proportions, and they're just scratching the surface.

We're safe, my trailer parked at my kid's place some 70 miles away. Long term, don't know what I'm going to do. Certainly can't return to a devastated war zone with no water or power. Tried to post to RTMM but they wouldn't take my .jpeg attachment so I wrote you instead. I just wanted to encourage people to donate to the Red Cross i.e, Camp Fire. I, personally, don't need anything, but thousands of people fled with nothing and will need every bit of help they can get. So maybe you could post that request for me? I'd appreciate it pal. I seem to be a little pre-occupied. Just got internet service here today so have a lot of catch-up to do.

                                     JJ"

Please keep J.J and all of those who have been affected by the out of control California fires in your thoughts and prayers as they attempt to restore their lives. I can't imagine what it would be like to lose everything in a natural disaster and have to start over from scratch; sadly many people go through total loss on a regular basis, and even lose their lives when disaster strikes. If you'd like to post and share your thoughts and/or condolences to J.J., I'll pass them along to him. 

Thanks,
Steve
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Doug

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Re: Sad News
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2018, 08:35:17 AM »
Thank you, Steve. What a tragedy for all involved. Give JJ our very best, thoughts are with him, prayers up.

Doug

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Re: Sad News
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2018, 11:42:55 AM »
This is such a tragedy!!!!
Here in germany the event is present in the news. When I saw the first pictures from there, I didn‘t realize that RTMM folks could be involved.

God bless, jsapair saved his live! My thoughts are with him and all the other people involved.


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nbrich1

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Re: Sad News
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2018, 01:29:21 PM »
For sure.. This is in the forefront of our news too here in Canada. Thoughts and prayers to all those affected and those still close to the CA fires for their safety.

Norm
« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 02:59:00 PM by nbrich1 »
Regards from Toronto, Canada. Home Airport CYYZ.
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av8erjm

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Re: Sad News
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2018, 02:03:21 PM »
not a prayin' sort, but send all my hopes n' wishes for his safety and that of his home

jeff3163

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Re: Sad News
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2018, 07:47:52 PM »
 :'(

So sad.  Sorry for JJ's loss as well as the thousands of others that are affected.  Glad he is alive.  I thought the worst when I saw that title.  :o  Thanks for posting for him, Steve.  8)

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stiletto2

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Re: Sad News
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2018, 08:54:52 AM »
The wildfires out west are a sad event .  It is really good to know that jsapair and family are okay.  Best of luck, J.J., in getting your life back together and settled as soon as possible.  I look forward to seeing you regularly online again soon.  Will keep all those so tragically affected by the fires in my prayers.

Rod

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Re: Sad News
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2018, 06:34:01 AM »
Sad to hear of this news. Happy to hear JJ is alive. Florida has hurricanes that have wiped out so many in recent years now California dealing with rampaging firestorms. I hope we all survive these times.

Brad

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Re: Sad News
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2018, 05:48:44 AM »
My best wishes to JJ and his family!!!
Obviously, the people there is in real danger although it's not that visible in this part of the world where I live. I just hope that you guys will survive this difficult time with the help of those involved.
My prayers with all of you! Peace!
Vüqar "Rustam" Quliyev

ualani

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Re: Sad News
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2018, 07:44:27 AM »
I got this update from J.J. yesterday afternoon.

"After one week we still don't know for sure if our house is even standing or not. Doubt it, but I need to see it for myself. We drove 35 miles of dirt yesterday to at least try to get to our vehicles the back way, which we were forced to abandon at an electrical substation along the evac route. Met a Highway Patrol roadblock about 10 miles short of our goal. No one in, no exceptions. He also said the electrical sub-station was being guarded by National Guard MP's. Well, maybe our vehicles are safe then.

Cal-Fire has a structural damage website but they haven't gotten up to our area yet. Maybe today. Our insurance adjuster should call in the next few days. She'll probably be the one to give us any news.

Thanks for the RTMM news...a little cheer!"

Then, yesterday evening the latest, along with the attached photo..

"It's official now. This is from the Cal Fire web site. Probably better than it surviving amidst all that devastation."
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ualani

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Re: Sad News
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2018, 08:40:11 AM »
Got an update from J.J. today; here's his latest news.

We're doing pretty well, considering. Don't remember how much I told you previously. Got our vehicles back, finally, undamaged and not vandalized. Our son fortunately has a vacant mobile home in the enclave of Lake Almanor. We're there now. Friends and family have donated furniture and things like that. We ordered a new bed a week ago last Monday. Delivery folks can't get it here 'cause major roads are still closed. Sleeping on blow-up beds in the meantime.

Got propane service installed, electricity, water, phone, internet, a cord of firewood (need about 4-5 cords to get thru a winter up here at 4600'). Maxed out the credit cards but the insurance company gave us a check for 5K to help get us by.

So, basically, we're doing tons better than thousands of other folks. We're 80 miles east of the fire right now but just in this neighborhood there are at least a dozen Paradise survivors staying with complete strangers who have opened up their homes. Facebook is swamped with posts of families with no place to stay. So sad, so sad. Don't worry about us Steve; we'll be fine. Lots of other folks can sure use some prayers, though.
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Handie

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Re: Sad News
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2018, 12:21:33 PM »
All my thoughts for jsapair and her family and all those people who have lost everything... what a sadness  :(
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Re: Sad News
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2018, 05:18:42 PM »
That was a terrible tragedy down there. Best wishes to JJ.

al


jsapair

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Re: Sad News
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2018, 10:02:05 PM »
Hi, friends. Had a minute where I could check in personally. Thanks for all your well wishes for the loss of my house and all in the Camp Fire. I can honestly say I am thankful we escaped with our lives. There was no warning, no reverse 911 call, no nothing. Big explosions and then flames. Wind driven flames from across a canyon a mile away. The explosions were neighbor's propane tanks exploding. I initially thought a plane crashed near by. My son happened to be visiting and they were staying in my travel trailer. He comes in the house and says, "Dad, this is bad, it's time to go."

He was right. As we were hooking my travel trailer up to his truck, embers landed in the yard across the street and started that house on fire. The house next to that one erupted in flames. Then the church next to that. The air was a sheer curtain of red, wind-driven embers. Distant propane tank explosions were like bombs or mortars going off. Thick, choking, black and grey smoke was rolling in waves across the ground making visibility a real challenge. 

We pulled into traffic going north. We're on the upper end of Magalia. People in Paradise would naturally go south. It was a cluster-f**ck no matter which way you went. Our two vehicles were low on gas so we pulled over at some point. It was total chaos. People driving on the wrong side of the road. Panic when there was no need for panic. Total gridlock no matter what or where you went.

But for those who chose the southern route out of Paradise, it was not only total gridlock, the flames  overtook  them. Huge, billowing black clouds with flames hundreds of feet high, and wind-driven. The flames overtook those people fleeing south 'cause the traffic was gridlocked. I heard about people fleeing burning cars with their hair on fire.
 
Got an email alert today that said I had 24 hrs to go in and check my property. Really. Thank you so very much. I'm 80 miles away in frozen conditions at 4600' elevation and you're giving me 24 hours to get to what was my life for the last 40 years and that's it? I'm not going. I don't think my burnt stuff will be going anywhere anytime soon.
 
Still trying to come to grips with this, without much luck, actually. I do know that I am much more fortunate than others...even thousands of others. Not a real good reason for feeling fortunate, though.

Thanks for your prayers and support. Means a lot to me.

                            jsapair


Jsapair

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Re: Sad News
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2018, 02:59:34 PM »
JJ,

 It's hard to fathom what you've had to endure these last few weeks. All the things in your life turned upside down like that. You did survive thankfully and I'm hoping that in time you're able to rebuild and get some sense of normalcy back in your life.

Thinking about you and sending positive thoughts your way.

Brad