California restaurant employee loses his grandmother wildfire
Restaurant feeds emergency responders in the middle wildfire tragedy.
RESCUE, California. – The forest fires in California lead to a tragedy.
“I can’t believe this is happening,” said James Welch, the grandson of a 70-year-old Melody Bledsoe, killed in the Carr Fire last Thursday. Bledsoe was with her two young grand children, Welch’s cousins, as flames suddenly swept through their Redding, California area.
“It’s a tragedy,” Welch said, noting at the time that he was called at work, he asks immediately to the office of the Marshal.
James Welch, seen here embracing his manager in the restaurant, described his grandmother’s death as “the tragedy.”
His manager, Cindy Lamkin, said she knew something was wrong at the time, Welch put down the phone.
“We went over to the marshal with them when they got the news,” says Lamkin, owner of Tortilla Flats, a Mexican restaurant where Rescue residents since 1978.
“The way I understand it, Grandma put a wet quilts over them, and some wet blankets about her, and lay on top of them, and they are not from the fire,” said Lamkin. “It’s just tragic, tragic. It is just terrible.”
“My grandfather was stuck in traffic, and help evacuate anyone else, and the fire had jumped to their property, and he was not able to get there,” Welch said. “My grandfather was on the phone with them, if they were to scream fire at the back door, the fire at the front door!”
Lamkin also said a number of her friends lost their houses.
“It’s just so sad. I don’t know how you recover from it,” said Lamkin.
In the past week, the Carr Fire destroyed more than 1,000 homes.
Welch on the work.
But for Lamkin, it was Welch’s loss that touched most close to home.
“I have two grandsons, so it makes me think that it could be,” said Lamkin.
Lamkin has spent the past week with her restaurant to do what they can do to help: collect home items, raising funds and giving away free meals to refugees and aid workers.
She is also working to help Welch and his family.
“I just wanted to support James,” Lamkin said. “They have a GoFundMe set up, so we are going to donate. We are going to help to the baby’s buried, and grandmother are buried and what we should do.”
A sign posted in the restaurant.
She said that the tragedy has reminded her that life is short.
“So just love and pray for everyone and care for everyone,” said Lamkin.
As for Welch, he said that he could not thank his manager and colleagues enough.
“They are great,” said Welch. “They have done so much for me. “
None of them said that they could understand what happened.
“But there is a lot of good in the world still,” said Lamkin. “So all the good should overcome the bad.”