Survivors of CZU Lightning Complex Fire get free photo shoot, thanks to SF church

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Saturday, November 7, 2020
CZU Complex fire survivors treated to free photo shoot from SF church
San Francisco Zion Church is offering free photo shoots for survivors of the CZU Lightning Complex Fire who lost family photos when it hit Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties in August and September of 2020.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Families who lost everything in the devastating CZU Lightning Complex Fire in August, now have something to look forward to.

San Francisco Zion Church and Sacramento-based Highlight Studios started reaching out to fire victims, offering free photo shoots to start replacing some of the treasured family photos that may have been lost in the fire.

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The fire burned more than 86,000 acres and forced thousands to evacuate in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties after it was sparked by a massive lightning storm in early August.

Tammy Galvan was one of the ones who lost her entire house in that fire, full of cherished keepsakes and irreplaceable family photos. Galvan has been grieving the loss of her father-in-law, and three months ago, her mother passed away.

"Her sweater and her perfume were in the house, and I didn't grab them because I thought we were coming back," said Galvan. "We were told the next morning that within the hour of evacuating it was all gone."

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But now, Galvan has brand-new family memories to hold onto for the future, after going on a full photo shoot with her 16-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son.

"Some of the photo albums that they lost in the fire, we thought that's not something they can replace," said Katerina Buenviaje of San Francisco Zion Church. "So, one of the small things we could do to give back is try to provide a glimpse of home."