Nonprofit giving families a place to stay after Detwiler Fire destroys homes

MARIPOSA, Calif. (KFSN) -- A retired firefighter from southern California is the reason nearly a dozen families affected by the Detwiler Fire have a home.

"It came fully stocked with dishes this all came with the trailer anything you need to cook," Krystal Tougas said.

Tougas walked us through the travel trailer donated to her family after the Detwiler Fire in Mariposa County destroyed their home.

"This is where the kids sleep in their bunks," she said. "We've got two teenagers."

The trailer was given to them by Bless You Inc. two weeks ago as temporary housing.

The nonprofit organization based out of Iowa heard about the devastation and provided nine families with similar places to live at the Mariposa Fairgrounds.

"Going from the shelter which was everybody on bunks in one room and shared a bathroom to having our own space our on bathroom our own food our own everything even though it's small is just a God send," Tougas said.

Tougas' husband says the trailers came stocked with food, toiletries, and even bedding. It provided them with comfort and peace during a tragic time.

"You have a life again, you know," he said. "You could see the light you know where you're going at the end of the day."

Action News spoke over the phone with the retired Los Angeles firefighter who tipped off the non-profit to the damage left behind by the Detwiler Fire after seeing the destruction on the news.

"I saw that we had close to 70 structures destroyed so," Bruce Arvizu said. "So, 35 years of helping people, you can't just walk away so I'm blessed to take my skills to a good program that helps other people."

Thanks to Bless You Inc. the families can stay in trailers for up to a year. The Tougas' say they will be out by the end of the month which means a new family can step in and make this home away from home their own.
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