Some Cocos Fire evacuees return home

Some of the 40 people who stayed at a shelter Friday night after evacuating due to the Cocos Fire were allowed back into their homes Saturday.

The Red Cross transformed the Mission Hills High School gym into a shelter for more than 100 Cocos Fire evacuees. Evacuee Eloisa says there are major perks.

"Oh, I don't like Mexican food, but they have something called fajitas. I came for seconds," she said.

But most had their fill, because it means slippers and curlers for everyone to see.

"Oh, it's really been frustrating," said evacuee Pat O'Kelly. "I think everybody's been weary and confused. We thought we could go back yesterday and then we couldn't."

On day four, Bob and Jacalyn Hoover left and headed home.

"To see my home, oh, it was such a relief," said Jacalyn. "I feel so bad for the ones who lost, lost everything."

The home they built by hand two years ago was untouched, and it hardly seems possible.

"We believe that's where the fire started," said Bob, referring to the hills behind their home.

Jacalyn dropped the dinner she was cooking and ran out. Her husband stayed back to fight the fire.

"All of the sudden it jumped over behind me, went across the road and both valleys just started," he said.

His wife made it to the end of the street and turned around.

"This whole area was nothing but fire and smoke, and I knew my husband was up here and my son-in-law, and I thought they were dead," she said.

She had no phone and no way to find out.

"Now, I'm going to just try to move on," she said. "I can. We will."

It is because they can laugh about how he rode his Harley through the smoke in his wife's pink bathrobe so she would have it at the shelter. Their story ends well.

The rest were still waiting.

"The food – the food is delicious," said Eloisa. "I don't want to go home yet."

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