First Street unites during fire evacuation

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Heat from the Second Street fire damaged property on the opposite side of the alley from the blaze. Photo by Marcella McSorely

Seal Beach authorities issued mandatory evacuation orders of First Street Old Town homes as a result of a structure fire at 207 Second Street. Neighbors all along First Street united with one another after being forced to leave their homes.

In addition to feeling grateful for how fellow neighbors truly watched over each other, they would like to take this opportunity to thank the Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, and Long Beach Fire Departments as well as the Seal Beach Police Department that responded to the fire. Their quick response and their efficiency in making sure everyone was safe is so greatly appreciated. The training and expertise of the teams was evident in everything they did in regard to the fire, but it is their care and concern for all of the residents that spoke volumes about the love they have for the community.

Ginger Turner said, “Thank you so much to the policeman and fireman who helped us try to find our cats, and for helping the family behind us get out. They took a blanket off our bed to protect a baby. This has got to be the most terrifying experience of my life with seriously one minute to get out of the house. We did not think of any of our material things, only of getting us, neighbors, and our animals safe. Our Seal Beach Firemen and Policemen rock!”

Sue Harding said she feels “very grateful to her neighbors, especially Karen Myers, for helping her sit down in her car away from the mayhem. It sure was frightening.”

Karen Myers said that “pounding on my neighbors’ doors was instinct to me in order to alert them about the fire. Making sure that everyone got out was top priority. All of us were running around helping each other. It makes me love this town and especially this street even more.”

Donnie Singer said, “As the flames kept climbing higher and higher, all I could do was pray for everyone’s safety. The whole experience was so surreal, and it was a quick reminder of how fragile we are.”

Shaila Tripp said that “I woke up to explosion noises and commotion in the front of the house. It was my neighbors yelling trying to get everyone out of their houses. The next thing I know there was a Policeman at the door telling everyone to evacuate to the Marina Center. My husband and I grabbed our two kids and our elderly next door neighbor and we headed to the park. Although it was very scary at first, I was very impressed how the Police and Fire Departments handled the situation. We are so grateful everyone is okay and that we live in such a great community where everyone takes care of each other.”

The folks on First Street were truly blessed that night to have such a dedicated and professional group of firefighters and police officers come in to escort them out of their homes and over to the Red Cross center at the Marina Center.

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