“It was devastating, you know, we’ve had fires over the years but not like this one,” says Brad Tuttle.
Tuttle and his family had a close call during the Apple Fire. Video shows firefighters battling flames that were about to destroy their home in Banning.
“It was scary, we left, we left got out of here because as you can see this is my backyard and it burned right up to my house and I didn’t know if we were going to have a house again,” says Tuttle.
The fire has destroyed over 33 thousand acres and several homes. Fortunately firefighters saved their home.
“If it hadn’t been for them, up here, we would have lost everything,” says Tuttle adding the firefighters protected his home as if it were their own and he’s grateful.
While their home doesn’t look damaged, it is. It has severe smoke damage and power outages caused by the fire took out their air conditioner. A travel trailer has been home for him, his wife, two daughters and dog for nearly three weeks.
“We made this into home for dinner table and all that to get out of our house, it’s too smoky and our air conditioner blew up and we can’t go in our house,” he says showing us his makeshift set up.
He’s a proud man who never asks for help.
“It’s triple digits, and it’s hot but you know, we’re trying to survive,” he says.
But when it comes to his family there is nothing he won’t do.
He flagged us down while we were covering the threat of rain to this already devastated community and asked for help with their insurance company, California Fair Action Plan.
He says they’ve had no luck getting what they need, “It’s devastating that i pay my insurance, please help me out that’s all I’m saying, please help me out.”
We reached out to their insurance company too. They said they’d get back to us. In the meantime we called The General Air Conditioning and Plumbing. The owner Patrick Somers didn’t hesitate to send out help.
We told Tuttle the good news.
“That is so awesome that The General is going to do that, that is, unbelievable, I can’t hardly describe how happy I am about that and how there’s so many good people out there, like yourself and The General, it’s just, thank you, thank you,” said Tuttle.
Tuttle called us back to tell us The General showed up and found their system would not be fixable. They decided to donate a new unit, duct work.
We’re grateful to Patrick Somers, the owner of The General who stepped up to help this family without hesitation.