Community thanks Carlsbad firefighters

Cause of Poinsettia Fire still unknown

Carlsbad - Aviara Oaks Elementary’s open house normally happens at the end of every school year, but this year was different.

This month, the Poinsettia Fire raged right up to the school’s property line.  

"That my house and my neighbor's house were saved is a miracle," said Camilla Muir, whose home faces a canyon behind the school. The canyon erupted into 30 foot high flames when the winds shifted during the Poinsettia fire.

Hand painted signs decorated the driveway leading into Aviara Elementary Thursday, which in one form or another, expressed thanks to police and firefighters.  

“To come back a few days later and see that the school was still here, the neighborhood was still here, and everything literally burned around us,” parent Melanie Frenkel said.

The scorched hills were the backdrop as more than a dozen firefighters returned to Aviara Thursday night.

“Just look around, it’s you know, it’s amazing,” said Division Fire Chief Mike Lopez, reacting to the massive crowd that showed up to honor the firefighters.  

Little children lined up on the lawn with their sign of appreciation, each with an individual letter spelling the word “FIREFIGHTER.”

“T is for trustworthy, E for educated,” yelled the kids, describing what a firefighter now means to them.

“Just to know that they are working their butt off just for us, and it just feels good to say thank you,” 9 year old Alex Muir said.  

It was a message she wanted to deliver with her own letter, one that made its way to the very firefighter that fought flames from her block. Firefighter Kyle Lloyd wrote back to Muir, who'd told him in the letter he'd ‘saved her memories,’ but at their first meeting it was hard to tell who was more thankful.

“Kind of overwhelming the community support, and like all the appreciation,” Lloyd said. “I mean, the doorbell rings every 15 minutes for the past week straight with people just wanting to shake your hand,” Lloyd said.

Firefighters will in turn thank the community at their training safety center this Saturday.

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