CZU Lightning Complex fires: Neighbors helping each other out after devastating wildfire in Bonny Doon

"The fire went around me, it took out everyone across the street it took out everyone around me."
BONNY DOON, Calif. (KGO) -- The CZU Lightning Complex from the wildfires has devastated communities, including Bonny Doon in Santa Cruz County. One man's home was spared, so he's hosting and housing neighbors who have lost everything.

Jack Robertson's house off Empire Grade was almost completely spared by the fire that tore through his neighborhood.

"The fire went around me, it took out everyone across the street it took out everyone around me," Robertson said.

He is currently housing two neighbors that lost everything.

"Well, it's good to have my home, but on the flip side, my neighbors are homeless. So it's pretty sad," Robertson said.

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He said he's had the fire department, Watsonville Police and sheriff's come by.

"They come by and check-in on us. I've had a Santa Cruz Deputy pass along food to me, nice guy. I've had Tahoe- Bryan Zable - Bryan thank you," Robertson.

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Neighbor Scott Martin fortunately did not lose his home, but since he doesn't have running water, he comes over to Robertson's home.

"Water and companionship, frankly, it's just a refuge when everything around you is burned to the ground. Your own house smells like smoke, doesn't have power- doesn't have water. Just being able to get together that resembles normalcy and hanging out with friends is very refreshing at the end of the day," Martin said.
Martin spends his days taking pictures of neighbors' homes that did not survive so they can get their insurance process going.

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"They've been really strict about letting folks up, but I was lucky enough to get up early enough and now I'm getting requests from all kinds of folks. They're obviously going through a huge amount of trauma and to be able to help them out is just very rewarding," Martin said.

Rod Cahill did not lose his home, but Robertson's home is offering him support.

"We come around here to share information, a meal, some encouragement. Yeah without that we'd be on our own," Cahill said.

He attributed Avanti Restaurant for getting food delivered to them. He said an entire network of people are helping them get by.

"It's pretty hard to get by cause we're fairly self-sufficient up here, but there's a limit to that we need fuel to run our lights and charge our phones. Without these guys - these neighbors- it wouldn't be like this," Cahill said.

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