‘Forever grateful’: Copperopolis thanks first responders who saved town from Aero Fire

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

More than 1,000 firefighters and police officers from across the region swarmed Calaveras County to battle the Aero Fire over the course of three days.

COPPEROPOLIS, Calif. — As containment grew on Calaveras County’s Aero Fire Thursday, more people returned home and some of the more than 1,000 firefighters and police officers originally called to the scene from across the region left.

Before leaving, first responders got a taste of community and a strong message of gratefulness.

“It was just very scary to see how close we all came to absolute chaos and devastation,” said Chelsea Hasson, a bartender at Copperopolis’ Old Corner Saloon. “When I walked out the door (Monday), I could just see the flames and the smoke.”

As the flames of the 5,000+ acre blaze raced down Copperopolis Mountain, threatening her town, Hasson and her co-workers were in the kitchen at the Old Corner Saloon — feet away from the front lines.

They knew fire crews and police were hungry.

“It was very frantic,” said Hasson. “A few of our ladies in the kitchen came in and we had some extra people, some extra volunteers that weren’t actually working that came in to start cooking.”

Being without power was no problem for the saloon workers who used everything they could to help feed the first responders, including a generator to keep the lights and refrigerators on.

“We had part of our community bringing their RV up so we could wash our dishes in their RV. We had another gentleman bring his generator so we had an AC for the cooks back there that were sweating and cooking, so it wasn’t just one person,” said Hasson. “It was a very big joint effort.”

Britney Snyder, her manager and her manager’s friend at Copper’s Java House coffeeshop were part of the effort.

“They actually went to the front lines with the firefighters. They took pastries, hot dogs, ice creams, coffees,” said Britney of her manager and a friend’s efforts. “We’re forever grateful.”

Even after containment was over 50%, the coffee shop paid the bills of some firefighters who stopped by Thursday morning.

“It makes me very proud to be a part of this community,” said Hasson. “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for saving our town and everything in it.”

With the out of control #AeroFire threatening their neighborhoods, these two Copperopolis businesses stayed open…

Posted by Gabriel Porras on Thursday, June 20, 2024

Some Aero Fire evacuees return to Copperopolis | Latest

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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.