Corralitos, Croy Rd. residents return home

May 27, 2008 12:28:30 AM PDT
Dozens of families affected by the summit fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains were allowed to return home Monday. Some were lucky to find their houses still standing, while others were not.

The thought of actually going home was enough to make some sing as they passed through a road block on Eureka Canyon Road.

The days of leaving licenses with police while rushing home for a few minutes to save the basics are over.

With the fire nearly contained, residents can return home and stay there.

The Rutherfords arrived and found their home exactly as they left it Thursday when they ran to escape the flames.

"So lucky, we thank those guys, they were on our street, waiting, five trucks, we felt it was awe inspiring," said homeowner Scott Rutherford.

Two miles away, Nathon and Hugo Zazzara pick through what's left of their home, which is very little.

"All my stuff, I even lost my darn wallet," said Nathon Zazzara.

The two walked through ash and twisted metal in what seems like a daze. Anything half way recognizable sends gets their hopes up, but every time, they're left, disappointed.

"It's my dad I'm worried about, he put his heart and soul into the property, and all his walnut stock was in this cellar, furniture, I just can't believe the fire came through here and got us," said Zazzara.

It got everything that mattered to this 54-year-old, who had a furniture making business out of their home.

The day of the fire, he put down his cane and picked up a hose to fight the fire. It wasn't much of a match.

"From up on the hill I heard the propane tank go off and it sounded like a rocket and then I saw the whole house become engulfed," said Hugo Zazzara. "I couldn't take watching it too long. I saw what was going on and turned around and walked out."

Now, Hugo Zazzara walks into the unknown. He has no home owners insurance. Finding a place to spend the night is now his immediate concern, and figuring out a more permanent next step will have to wait a while.

There are still a few roads closed including Loma Prieta and Mt.Madonna. They are not expected to open until Friday.


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