Sun. May 19th, 2024

By Donna Westfall – December 8, 2015 –

Boydston house fireI watched the Board of Supervisor’s meeting this morning and heard Supervisor Martha McClure mention they went out of town for Thanksgiving and were very happy to come back into town…. to come home.

For 30 years our friends in Ojai (Southern California) lived in a one-of-a-kind, 4,000 square foot, multi-level home built around a three story tall boulder on two acres overlooking the valley. It was set on the edge of the Los Padres National Forest. As extraordinary as the architecture was, the gardens were magnificent because the lady of the house is an artist. And the man of the house is a physicist. The children and grandchildren all a delight.

Last night their home burned down. She said she heard “popping” noises and within minutes the entire house was engulfed in flames.

Gone were her original paintings, the drawings of her first borne who died at age 12 of a heart disease, memorabilia along with clothing, furniture, appliances, phones, computers and more.  Safe were all six family members.  Also safe were thousands of memories made during parties, luncheons, meetings, study sessions, garden tours, warming your hands under the heated table, eating tubs of popcorn while watching movies, star gazing, laughing, crying, plotting, planning… surprise parties and planned events.

What to do?

  1. Prayer – it works – having family and friends praying for you benefits everyone. Call it a cosmic energy transfer but it works and one is filled with peace and strength.
  2. Find a motel/hotel or place to live temporarily.  In this case, the Red Cross put them up for the first night in a motel. The next day they can pick and chose from dozens of offers from friends and family to join their household.
  3. Set-up a location for contributions of clothing, shoes, etc. to take care of the immediate need. Let people know sizes. 
  4. Set-up accounts so family and friends can donate and contribute. There’s Pay Pal and various crowdfunding sites with links even through Facebook.
  5. Call your insurance agent, and if it didn’t burn up, check your insurance policy.
  6. Be patient. Shock has to be dealt with.  Then the painstaking time-consuming rebuilding of things as simple as cell phone contacts can be reconstructed.

Their house burned down, but they will always create a home wherever they land.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *