ALPINE (KGTV) - The evacuation orders were lifted Sunday for Alpine residents after the West Fire ripped through their neighborhood. The community leaped into action, creating a donation drive ahead of more services offered by multiple agencies at the Alpine Library Monday.
Albert and Sarah Altamirano lost everything in the West Fire. They moved in two months ago and were planning on raising their toddler here.
"He just told me like hey it's gone and we just that was it," Sarah said sadly. "It's hitting us more today than when it actually happened. We've been, luckily, surrounded by all her family and friends and people that we don't even know that take the time and the effort to help us out," her husband Albert said, referring to his sister and her neighbors who put together a donation drive to help people like them.
Mandy Loughlin created the drive and put out the call on Facebook. The donations came rolling in. Trash bags, shovels, food, toiletries, cleaning supplies, all divided into labeled moving boxes in her front driveway.
She and her family were evacuated when the fire came through, and after escaping the danger, they heard many were not as fortunate. Stories like the Altamiranos shared with each 'Thank you' while they shopped for necessities.
"I just saw you know what we work so hard for day after day to school you know there's nothing there," Albert said. "After a long day like that all you want is your bed, your house, like go home kick your shoes off but...." Sarah couldn't finish the sentence, looking at her husband.
As they gathered supplies she told Mandy, "Thank you so much, thank you god bless you thank you so much." "I keep saying thank you but I don't feel like it's enough, because people who don't even know you help out so much and that's when you know there are good people out there still."
Instead, they focus on what they do have, their happy, healthy little boy who squeals and smiles as he runs toward them.
The Altamiranos will join a lot of families and residents affected by the fire, at the Alpine Library. It will be turned into a Local Assistance Center, where agencies like the Salvation Army, Red Cross, and FEMA will provide help for them to get back on their feet.
Feeding San Diego will also be sending an emergency shipment of fresh produce and other groceries to help families impacted by the West Fire. Residents affected by the fire can pick up food at the First Baptist Church of Alpine Tuesday morning from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.