EXCLUSIVE: Auberry family sees decimated home for first time, community vows to build back stronger

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AUBERRY, California (KSEE) — On Friday, an Auberry home was escorted by officials to their home in the Alder Springs community off of Auberry Road.

The Creek Fire decimating homes as it ravaged through the Jose Basin area last week.

“They said 73 home between Pine Ridge and where I lived,” said Allyson Brooks. “73 homes burned.”

It was a difficult car ride for Allyson Brooks on Friday as she headed up Highway 168 to Auberry Road. She had traveled up the road many times but this time hit her hard.

It is one thing to see the destruction of the Creek Fire on TV but it is completely different to witness it in person. The smell one of burning plastic and other toxins. Trees that used to be green and lively blackened with soot.

As Allyson passed Pine Ridge Elementary, she started crying.

“It is horrible. My heart is killing me,” she said. “Every home that I see I know.”

5 minutes later, Allyson overwhelmed with emotion as the car turned down her road, parked, and she stepped out of the car. The Creek Fire had wiped out all that was left of her childhood home.

“So this was my mom and dad’s home,” said Allyson. “I was born here, well day one they brought me home here.”

Her father, Bob Brooks, remodeled the home and built an office to the right of the home. He unexpectedly passed away two years ago.

“This one is hard. It is hard to look at because I didn’t know the magnitude,” said Alyson.

Allyson and her husband Drew Nelson then walked to their home. Drew had just finished the deck not long ago.

A garden gnome, a blue put, and two ceramic birds made it through the blaze. Allyson took them with her as a reminder of all of the fond memories spent at her home.

As she left, she realized she will not be able to return for a while, but she vowed when she does her and her neighbors will build back the neighborhood stronger than ever before. She praised the community for the continued support she and the rest of the Shaver community have received over the past two weeks.

“Our community is everything and the way that we have responded to this is incredible,” said Allyson. “The fact that this is not the exception; this is the norm. We are coming back together. We are building stronger together.

Several organizations are putting together fundraisers to help those affected by the Creek Fire. Allyson and her family plan to rebuild their homes. Her brother and sister-in-law are architects and plan on creating a design inspired by Bob’s style.

he Red Cross is assisting those impacted by the California Wildfires.  You can help. Click this link to donate online:  https://www.redcross.org/donate/cm/ksee24-pub.html/

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