Friday Sep 04 2009
Sheriff’s Association members help 49 Fire victims
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
Volunteers clear brush, sift through debris
After spending the week evacuating residents and helping protect their property some Placer County Sheriff’s staff members wanted to offer more help to the victims of the 49 Fire. On Friday, about 20 to 25 members of the Placer County Deputy Sheriff’s Association assembled at the last minute to go into the neighborhood of Parkway Drive and help residents in any way they could. The association members, which include about 230 Placer County Sheriff’s sergeants, deputies and other staff, volunteered on their day off. Andrew Scott, association vice president, said it “seemed the natural thing to do” to help residents. “With seeing what’s going on we wanted to do something to help the people out here,” Scott said. Scott said a last-minute e-mail was sent out a day or two ago. He said the group also received water bottle and Gatorade donations from Dry Creek Union 76 station and Home Depot donated equipment including masks and gloves. Friday, many members were doing a range of activities from removing dead brush and trees to looking through debris on their hands and knees to try to find keepsakes for homeowners. “We want to try to help with what we could do,” said Ken Ferreira, association member. “The community has been good to us and now these guys are hurting.” Oakmist Lane resident Joseph Moscariello was at his home Friday morning hosing down burned ground and overseeing work being done on his house. While his home withstood the scorching flames, there was damage to his backyard brush and some of the exterior of his home. The home directly next door was burned to the ground. Moscariello, who is a disabled veteran, said he was happy to see association members out helping. “To see neighbors helping neighbors is a nice surprise,” Moscariello said. “It’s even more rewarding to see someone help with the physical aspect of it.” He pointed to several charred bushes that had previously shielded his home from the grass field behind it. “I can’t go to sleep at night because I’m thinking this stuff might ignite again and burn what’s left of the house,” Moscariello said. “It’s good to see some of the stuff cleared out.” Homeowner John Russell was using a rake to try to find some of the 450 Budweiser beer steins and other related memorabilia he’s been collecting since 1984. A group of association members and Placer County Sheriff’s dispatchers, who are not association members, were helping. “I was back here Monday starting to sift through a little bit,” Russell said. Russell and members were lining up pieces of steins and jewelry along a ledge as they continued to work. “We wanted to do something — anything we could,” said Tracy Gregory, a dispatcher. “Everyone felt so helpless the day it happened.” Association member Jim Hudson added members felt it was the right thing to help those who were hurting. “We want to show we’re here as a community,” Hudson said. “The fire burned us as a community and we’re going to help as a community.” Jenifer Gee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.