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Leetta’s home burned down in the Camp Fire and she and her husband have been living in a Rio Linda RV park ever since. They’d heard about financial resources being given to Camp Fire survivors at the Chico Disaster Recovery Center and made the over 1.5 hour drive over. There, Leetta visited Tzu Chi’s booth. She received a Da Ai eco-blanket and pre-loaded debit card to use on behalf her and her husband. Sitting across from CEO Han Huang, who was helping her, Leetta burst into tears hearing it had $500. Her reaction spoke to a deeper pain; one that was vivid and still fresh.
“We got in our truck, and we thought we’d just go there real quick, hitch up the RV, and bring it back over to our place,” Leetta described. Within minutes, black smoke was everywhere. They quickly hitched up their RV to the truck, and as soon as they turned onto Pentz Road, they were trapped.
“There were power lines, trees down, there was several of us cars trapped. The flames were higher than the trees on both sides of us.”
With no way out, and with Leetta’s husband physically unable to run because of a disability, the Baileys believed “it was over for us…we called on our phones and told our children, ‘goodbye.’”
“I don’t know how it happened, but a fire truck got to us… he fought the flames for over 2 hours keeping the flames off of all of us,” said Leetta. Behind them, too, was a line of cars waiting to be rescued, honking loudly.
Leetta will put her new debit card toward an apartment rental. “Y’all don’t know how much this is gonna help us. I just… thank you,” Leeta grins. She is hopeful.