Local woman flees French Fire with cat

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The French fire has gorged itself on several homes, and thousands of acres of land during its rampage through the drought-stricken mountains west of Lake Isabella. A local woman is grateful to escape with her cat, but she worries she may lose everything else. Marjorie Manning fled for her life, as flames surged towards her home near Keyesville.

“I told my son ‘I’m out of here,'” said Manning. “Just the thought of not going home every night has really bothered me. It’s all gotta still be there when I get home. I’d be so devastated.”

She says her pets make the journey just a bit easier. They’ve been staying at an evacuation site for over a week.

“My two dogs and a cat, I left the chickens behind to run all they want. I’m sure they’re going to be glad to get home,” said Manning.

This isn’t her first time leaving home. She lived here during the Erskine Fire 5 years ago. Her husband passed away soon after.

“We lost everything in that fire,” said Manning. “Garage, storage units, mobile home.”

Manning says her cat, Garfield, has been with her through both evacuations. She remembers the moment she decided to take him home.

“Some kids were giving him away at the local market. I said ‘oh I like that one!'” said Manning. “So I brought him home. My husband said ‘what are you going to call him?’ Garfield! What else?”

Meanwhile first responders say the French Fire has burnt nearly a dozen homes to the ground, as the blaze threatens several mountain communities.

“Red Cross workers actually drove over, checked out my house, and checked out my chickens. They said the house is still standing,” said Manning. “The chickens are still running around in their pen.”

If you need help rescuing your pets from the French Fire, call Kern County Animal Services at 868-7100.

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