As the death toll rises in the California wildfires, one family in Mansfield, Massachusetts is racing to rescue their loved ones who have likely lost everything.
Kim Reed’s parents, Ed and Sandy, both 77, retired to Magalia, California nearly 20 years ago. Their home is in one of the areas that has been scorched by the Camp Fire, now the deadliest fire in the state’s history.
She said her parents did not even get the chance to pack up their personal belongings before being told their home was in the evacuation zone. Since then, her dad, who is in renal failure and suffers from several medical issues, has been receiving treatment outside the fire zone. When her mom is not able to find a hotel, she sleeps in her car.
“It is horrifying.” Reed said. “Just the fact that she is curled up in her Corolla and trying to stay warm.”
Reed and her family have spent the last few days trying to figure out how to help them from 3,000 miles away. She said originally roadblocks kept them from getting there, while her dad’s health made it difficult for them to travel.
“He said he didn’t know if he was going to be able to make the trip and I said, 'here’s the thing dad, you can call this your last greatest adventure or stay there and die in this horrible circumstance. I say go for it,'” Reed said.
Thanks to doctors and donations from the community that came in on GoFundMe, they now have plans to fly out and help them get on a plane back to Massachusetts.
Reed’s daughters fought back tears talking about how grateful they are for the community’s support. They are now looking for help to make their home more handicap accessible before their loved ones are scheduled to arrive on Sunday.
“Family for me is everything,” Reed said. “And we just can’t get there fast enough.”