LAKE ISABELLA, Calif. (KGET) — The French Fire has turned some decades-old homes into charred piles of soot, throwing memories into the sky as ash. A local teacher never imagined her family’s home would be ripped away from them over the course of an afternoon. First there was fire, then there was ash. Elizabeth Carde’s home was her dream.
“Our family home that I bought my mother 25 years ago, because she had polio and her greatest dream was to own a home…and pass that on,” said Carde. “Ever since I was a little girl, I told her ‘I’ll buy you a home.'”
A lifetime of memories melted away before her eyes. Carde was teaching in Bakersfield when she heard Wagy Flats road was overtaken by the inferno.
“We immediately drove up there and we only had about 20 minutes to get what we could,” said Carde. “Live ash was falling on my home…and it’s a complete loss. Nature took my home.”
Evacuating in just minutes, the family had to leave multiple chickens behind. Their cat is now staying in a Bakersfield animal hospital.
“He was 18 feet up in a pine tree that was still smoldering. And he’s completely singed,” said Carde. “He’s in good hands right now.”
She and her son Ezekiel had no idea where they would sleep … until Elizabeth’s sister Donnelle offered her a place to stay.
“You want to make sure your family’s okay,” said Morris. “So I’m panicking. ‘Elizabeth, be okay.’ She gets out and says ‘I’m on my way.'”
Donnelle was just hours from selling her home in Lake Isabella.
“This is my sister’s home that she was selling,” said Carde. “And she already had a buyer, it was in escrow. Yesterday my sister took it out of Escrow, and said I can stay here as long as I need to until I can get a home again.”
The family says they need your help to rebuild.
“I am looking to have another home for my family,” said Carde. “So anyone that can contribute to that, I would surely appreciate it.”
Elizabeth Carde and her family organized a go-fund-me to help her find a new home.