Kincade Fire: Support, gratitude comes in the form of pizza for firefighters & evacuees

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- A Mountain Mike's Pizza manager told a customer, "You're here because you either got evacuated, you have no power, you have no gas, you're here for a reason and everybody is welcome."

Support is coming in the form of pizza tonight.

At the restaurant on Cleveland Avenue in Santa Rosa, the doors are open and the pizza is free to those who have been through a lot these past few days.

Manager Oscar Vega said, "We are giving a free lunch buffet to all the evacuees and all the fire departments because they did a lot for us so we want to give back for what they did for us."

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Ten out of 13 Mountain Mike's locations in the North Bay were closed because of the Kincade Fire. In fact, the location on Cleveland Avenue was evacuated for three days.

First responders also saved Marie Melchor and her family.

The Sebastopol resident said, "We were out within 40 minutes when they came to the door.

I loaded my mom, my daughter, our three dogs and two cats, all in my vehicle and drove."

Now they all sit together, breaking bread.

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Pacific Oasis firefighter Jake Woods said, "Nice to see everyone smiling, happy, in their homes again, that makes us feel special like we've done our job right."

It hasn't been easy for first responders.

A private contract firefighting crew out of Oregon has been in Sonoma County for eight days.

Pacific Oasis firefighter Donte Marquez said, "We've been sleeping in our tents, getting dirty every day, just trying to make sure the town feels safe."

Getting this little bit of recognition tonight is meaningful.

Marquez went on to say, "We appreciate it, people showing us gratitude, it's definitely a nice thing."

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