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’30 years of memories and possessions, all gone’: Corral fire victims lose San Joaquin County home

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

FAMILIES TO GO HOME ON SUNDAY EVENING, LAURA TOASTY CAME HOME. WE FEEL VERY BLESSED. FOR WHAT YOU KNOW, WHAT WE HAVE. SHE EVACUATED WITH HER FAMILY AND THEIR ANIMALS SATURDAY AS THE CORRAL FIRE CAME DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO HER. BERNARD DRIVE HOME THE CALL GOT OUT TO MY AG FRIENDS AND FAMILY. I DIDN’T HAVE TO MAKE PHONE CALLS. THEY WERE ALL HERE WITH TRAILERS AND TRUCKS READY TO GET OUR LIVESTOCK. CAL FIRE SAYS AS OF SUNDAY, THE CORRAL FIRE HAD BURNED THOUSANDS OF ACRES IN SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY. WE HAD SUCH STRONG WINDS AND THIS GRASS FIRE WAS ABLE TO SPREAD TO MORE THAN 14,000 ACRES, ESSENTIALLY IN A DAY, THE SCORCHED LAND VISIB AS CREWS CONTINUE TO WORK TOWARDS FULL CONTAINMENT, OFFICIALS WERE ABLE TO DOWNGRADE THE EVACUATION ORDERS TO WARNINGS. THE SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE AND THE OFFICE OF EMERGENCY SERVICES HERE IN SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY DID AN OUTSTANDING JOB GETTING THE WORD OUT QUICKLY AND EVACUATING PEOPLE EARLY. UNFORTUNATELY, ONE HOUSE WAS LOST. REFLECTING BACK, TOASTY SAYS CONDITIONS ON SATURDAY MADE EVACUATING CHALLENGING. WE FINALLY GOT TO THE POINT WHERE THE FIRE TRUCKS HAD PUT ENOUGH OF THE FLAME OUT THAT WE WERE TRYING TO GET THROUGH, AND THE FLAME WAS ACTUALLY LAPPING UP ON THE SIDE OF THE TRAILERS AND ON THE SIDE OF MY CAR. AND, UM, THE FIREMEN TOLD ME JUST TO FOLLOW HIM THROUGH. HE TOOK THREE STEPS AND HE DISAPPEARED. WE DIDN’T SEE HIM, SO THEY REARRANGED THE TRUCKS SO WE COULD SEE THE LIGHTS AT THE TOP OF THE TRUCK TO DRIVE OUT. A DAY LATER, SHE IS HOME AND SO GRATEFUL TO BE. CANNOT SAY ENOUGH ABOUT THE FIREFIGHTERS AND YOU KNOW, ALL THE THE PUBLIC PEOPLE THAT WERE IN HERE HELPING. EVERYBODY’S PUTTING THEIR LIFE ON HOLD FOR FOR US TO SAVE US. SO WE’RE HOME. AND SHE WAS SO RELIEVED TO BE HOME. FIRE CREWS ARE GOING TO BE OUT HERE OVERNIGHT WORKING TO STRENGTHEN THEIR CONTROL LINES, PATROLLING, LOOKING FOR ANY SMOKE THAT MIGHT POP UP AND MOPPING UP IN SAN JOAQ

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’30 years of memories and possessions, all gone’: Corral fire victims lose San Joaquin County home

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Updated: 11:32 PM PDT Jun 2, 2024

Black, burned hillsides circle the San Joaquin County neighborhood caught in the Corral Fire.Kirn Gill got his family to safety and then returned home to protect his house, as well as his neighbors’ property. “We couldn’t leave, no one could come in,” Gill said. “It’s been wild. The fires were insane, with 200-foot flames, and smoke everywhere. I couldn’t breathe.”Gill, who is using a crutch and recovering from foot surgery, said he turned on his sprinklers and grabbed a garden hose, watching the fire burn his neighbors’ home, jumping Bernard Road and heading his way. | MORE | Corral Fire: Evacuation orders downgraded, LiveCopter 3 shows conditions in San Joaquin County”The embers jumped over to the juniper trees and lit those up. I had my garden hose going and all the embers that were flying up over to my property, I was putting them out with a garden hose,” Gill said. He kept his home safe, but he watched the flames engulf his neighbor’s home. The Curtiss family has lived there for 30 years. The owners are 75 and 84 years old.They evacuated with two dogs and a pet turtle. “They had about 10-to-15 minutes from the time the officer knocked on the door to tell them to get out of the house and grabbed the dogs, the turtle and a little bit of clothes and left,” said Travis Curtiss, their son. “As you can see, the house is completely destroyed.”CalFire crews were still on the scene Sunday evening, watching for hot spots and burned trees to fall. “It was a very sad thing to see everything burning up, yards burning up, and unfortunately, our neighbor right there lost their whole entire house,” said Curtiss.

Black, burned hillsides circle the San Joaquin County neighborhood caught in the Corral Fire.

Kirn Gill got his family to safety and then returned home to protect his house, as well as his neighbors’ property.

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“We couldn’t leave, no one could come in,” Gill said. “It’s been wild. The fires were insane, with 200-foot flames, and smoke everywhere. I couldn’t breathe.”

Gill, who is using a crutch and recovering from foot surgery, said he turned on his sprinklers and grabbed a garden hose, watching the fire burn his neighbors’ home, jumping Bernard Road and heading his way.

| MORE | Corral Fire: Evacuation orders downgraded, LiveCopter 3 shows conditions in San Joaquin County

“The embers jumped over to the juniper trees and lit those up. I had my garden hose going and all the embers that were flying up over to my property, I was putting them out with a garden hose,” Gill said.

He kept his home safe, but he watched the flames engulf his neighbor’s home. The Curtiss family has lived there for 30 years. The owners are 75 and 84 years old.

They evacuated with two dogs and a pet turtle.

“They had about 10-to-15 minutes from the time the officer knocked on the door to tell them to get out of the house and grabbed the dogs, the turtle and a little bit of clothes and left,” said Travis Curtiss, their son. “As you can see, the house is completely destroyed.”

CalFire crews were still on the scene Sunday evening, watching for hot spots and burned trees to fall.

“It was a very sad thing to see everything burning up, yards burning up, and unfortunately, our neighbor right there lost their whole entire house,” said Curtiss.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.

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