CZU complex fire evacuee holds benefit concert for fire department volunteers

Also, a Boulder Creek family loses home after living there for one month

ByLauren Martinez KGO logo
Sunday, September 6, 2020
Fire evacuee holds benefit concert for CZU complex fire volunteers
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Boulder Creek musician and fire evacuee holds a benefit concert for volunteer fire department battling CZU lightning complex fire in Santa Cruz County. Here's how you can help

BOULDER CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- CAL FIRE said the CZU Lightning Complex Fire has destroyed 925 homes throughout Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties, the community of Boulder Creek was hit hard. Residents of Boulder Creek and Ben Lomond are being allowed to return.

On Saturday night, Boulder Creek resident Chas Crowder performed a benefit concert at Pono's Hawaiian Grill in Santa Cruz where tips and proceeds go towards the Boulder Creek Volunteer Fire Department. A link to donate can be found here.

Crowder is still evacuated and currently staying with Morgan Montecue, who performed along with Crowder.

"I have not been allowed to return home and we understand why- there's still fire burning in the mountains above us. I have several neighbors right next to me that have lost their house, I mean some literally you can see from my back porch. So we want to come together and help the way our firefighters have been helping us," Crowder said.

RELATED: More residents allowed to return home as crews get better handle on CZU Lightning Complex fires

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Montecue currently lives in Santa Cruz, but lived in Boulder Creek for 10 years.

"My heart sank you know - so many places have burned down, so, I'm just glad we can help," Montecue said.

Megan O'Mahony returned to her home along with her husband and two daughters to find their home is completely gone.

"We were so used to seeing a house there every time we came around the corner, and this time there was nothing but the trees behind the house. It was very shocking just seeing a pile of rubble and just seeing the steps that lead up to what is nothing now," O'Mahony said.

She said they had only lived in that house for one month.

RELATED: Bay Area fires: Latest news on size, containment

"It was our first house that we bought together and we were actually living there for one month. It was such a shock that this house was everything we ever wanted - it was built in 1908, it was beautiful and charming and irreplaceable," O'Mahony said.

She said the family has no intention on moving out of Boulder Creek.

VIDEO: Eerie orange haze, ash blankets Santa Cruz neighborhood near CZU Complex Fire

Video from Santa Cruz shows a neighborhood shrouded in an eerie orange haze that looks like something out of a movie.

"Seeing the house today has solidified my resolve to rebuild exactly on that land, on that property, around my neighbors, in that same neighborhood and we will be back. All the compassion around all the loss- all the people who have lost their homes, us included, even being new people- we feel so much love and we're so grateful," O'Mahony said.

O'Mahony said it's incredible to see how fickle fire can be. Her home is gone while her neighbor's home is still standing.

"The houses were built four years apart. Theirs in 1904, ours in 1908 and theirs is still there- made of the same stuff our house was made of and it's absolutely fine. There's flags hanging outside and they're still up and they are un-charred. So it is incredible to see what fire takes and what it leaves," O'Mahony said.