South Bay community stepping up for Santa Cruz family who moved to Paradise just weeks before Camp Fire

Amanda del Castillo Image
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
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A South Bay community is stepping up and helping a family from Santa Cruz who had just movced and lost their home in the Camp Fire.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A mom and her five-year-old son moved from Santa Cruz to Paradise in early October, because they couldn't afford the Bay Area.

Brittney Bush, 25, told ABC7 News, the joy of having a home to call her own quickly turned to shock and sadness as the Camp Fire tore through their new hometown.

MAPS: A look at the Camp Fire in Butte County and other California fires

Bush shared a video of her son Aiden, five, recorded in early October. The video showed the young boy walking into his new bedroom for the very first time.

"That house was my son's first bedroom of his own," Bush said.

She explained the move was meant to be a fresh start for her, Aiden, and Bush's boyfriend. When the Camp Fire ignited on the morning of Nov. 8, their lives changed forever.

"I had never experienced any sort of natural disaster in my life, so it's was really scary," Bush said.

When the deadly fire sparked, Aiden's school called Bush, requesting she pick him up. She said Aiden's school was also destroyed in the fire.

"We thought it was a routine fire evacuation," she said. "We didn't have time to grab much of anything, and I thought that we'd have a house to go home to."

However, Bush quickly realized their lives were in danger.

RELATED: Terrifying video shows family's escape from Camp Fire in Paradise

"We could see fire on both ends of our street coming towards our house," Bush described.

Young Aiden told ABC7 News, "If I stayed there for twenty more minutes, I would be trapped in there."

Bush said video of the fire's devastation posted to Facebook, showed her new home was leveled. She received confirmation on Tuesday.

"That was probably one of the most heartbreaking moments of my life, I would say," Bush said, holding back tears. "I think I was prepared to know that my house was probably not going to be there, but just the realization of it not being there I thinkI'm still kind of in shock."

Bush told ABC7 News, she had no insurance and little relief. As it turns out, help was just a haircut away.

Bush's mother, Deborah Bush, had spent some time at the Capelli Couture Salon in San Jose. Deborah spoke to her hairdresser about Brittney's misfortune.

"She just wanted to get a place of her own," Deborah told ABC7 News. "That seemed like the perfect place, like a perfect little paradise for her."

The story of devastation caught salon owner, Maria Repetto's attention.

"We just kind of told her, let us know what your daily items that you need are," Repetto said. "Her response was, 'I have nothing.'"

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Repetto posted to a local community Facebook page about the destruction and began collecting donations at the salon along Licoln Avenue in the city's Willow Glen neighborhood.

"I just looked around my room last night and thought, I don't even really need any of this stuff," Repetto said. "To think that I would not have a drawer to go to get a new pair of underwear from is just mind-blowing to me."

Repetto's help has resulted in the community donating clothes, toys, and toiletries to help Aiden and Bush begin their recovery. A GoFundMe page was also created to get the family through new troubles.

"We definitely, at some point, would love to move back," Brittney Bush told ABC7 News. "I mean, we're completely in love with that town. It was beautiful, and everything we could ask for."

See more stories, photos and videos on the Camp Fire in Butte County.