North Bay restaurant serving over 600 Thanksgiving meals to fire victims, first responders

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- Hundreds of victims from last month's North Bay Fires have a place to go tomorrow. Workers at Franchettis' restaurant in Santa Rosa have been busy all night preparing free meals for Thanksgiving. They're cooking 600 pounds of turkey with all the beloved side dishes.
"We feel like we can help those people and we'll be throwing a great party tomorrow," said Gesine Franchetti, co-owner of Franchettis'.

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Gesine and John Franchetti have planned for 600 free meals -- all for fire victims and first responders. They received donations to help cover much of the cost and when it was time to take reservations, they didn't realize how emotional it was going to be. People ended up sharing their struggles.

"We ended up just crying on the phone. I can't wait to meet her. I don't know her. We're going to make sure we get to see each other. She's coming in at 1:30," said co-owner John.

Franchettis' is only two blocks from Coffey Park, one of the neighborhoods here in Santa Rosa destroyed by the fire. While the restaurant withstood the devastation, there was concern whether it would stay in business.

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"So many people are getting moved out of the neighborhood, you just think, oh my God, we're going to be out of business tomorrow," said Gesine. "I tell you we opened the doors and the restaurant was full and it was packed."

That is why the Franchettis say they have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, and expressing their thanks is something they felt was important to do.

"There's been a lot of nice going around in the community, what's one more," said John.

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