Napa quake victims save storage facility with donations

NAPA, Calif. (KGO) -- It's been more than 14 months since the Napa Quake. The city is still rebuilding and Monday there was a milestone, one that 7 on Your Side's Michael Finney helped bring about.

Napa Self Storage was red-tagged in the Napa quake. The owners planned to bulldoze the building with everything in it unless the tenants came up with $170,000. It seemed like an impossible task, but sometimes the impossible happens.

Items belonging to Joan Clark were all in danger of being bulldozed under but on Monday she stood smiling in the rain.

PHOTOS: South Napa Earthquake damage

"My stuff looks good. It looks really good. I was confident it looked good. I am so happy. Today is such a good day," Clark said.

And it was a day long time coming. Napa Self Storage has been red-tagged after the quake; its steel walls buckled and doors slanted. Then for tenants things went from bad to worse. The storage company pointed to its rental agreement that said the owner is not responsible for any damage to stored property.

Tenants could pay a contractor to shore up the building or lose everything in a demolition.

"If it weren't for Channel 7 I don't think we would have gotten to this point. I got a hold of Channel 7 for myself and for the 200 people who have belongings in this building. Things just weren't happening," Clark said.

Word went out and fundraising followed.

Napa Self Storage contributed $39,000, a $25,000 grant from the Napa Valley Community Foundation came in. Churches and well-wishers gave and tenants also chipped in.

That's when Shawn Hacker and his crew went to work. They stabilized the walls, put in temporary beams and now with the building stabilized have started taking the tenants belongings out of the building.

PHOTOS: Six months after South Napa Earthquake

"We are happy. We are so happy because very little damage, very little damage," Hacker said. "We don't know about the first floor yet because we are just now opening up this morning but all in all everyone has been pleased with their items coming out of their second floor."

Clark got her cherished items back.

"I am just happy to have my belongings with me and I've got a barn, a tough shed barn where these things are going into until I can buy another house," Clark said.

Work stopped Monday because of wet weather. When work resumes tenants will be contacted and told when their items will be available.

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