Residents find very little after returning to fire-ravaged Fountaingrove

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- As some residents returned home for the first time since the North Bay fires broke out, others paid tribute to first responders.

On Saturday morning, firefighters came for pancakes. What each of them got was a standing ovation.

"How could you not be grateful for somebody who's worked so hard for you?" asked Santa Rosa resident Judy Vance.

TAKE ACTION: How you can help North Bay fire victims

First responders were guest of honor at the pancake breakfast hosted by Boy Scout Troop 32 in Santa Rosa. Donations were collected for fire victims.

On that day, many gave thanks to those who battled the firestorm.

"It really chokes me up to see this support for our departments," said Graton Fire Chief Bill Bullard. "Just driving down the highway, seeing every overpass just covered with signs. It's really touching."

Residents in Santa Rosa's fire-ravaged Fountaingrove neighborhood were allowed to return to their homes for the first time Saturday, but found few things in the rubble.

"We raised our two kids here," said Alan Williams. "It's unbelievable nothing is left."

Williams and his wife Noriko sifted through the ashes of their home on Paxton Place, but found very little to salvage.

"I was hoping to find some family photos for my kids to have but it's all gone," said Noriko.

RELATED: Santa Rosa residents sift through remains after fire

Several neighborhoods in Fountaingrove were destroyed in a massive wildfire on October 9.

Neighbor Loreen Whirley found some dishes and a silver serving fork in the rubble of her home.

"We just wanted a couple of precious nuggets to keep and this was one of them," she said. "The important thing is my family is safe."

The city says residents must show ID at roadblocks to gain entry.

Click here for full coverage on the North Bay fires.
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