The Grand Canyon Chapter of the American Red Cross has set up a temporary shelter at Sinagua Middle School in Flagstaff for evacuees of the Slide Fire. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Laura Loh and her son grabbed some essentials before leaving their home, but had to leave the family cat behind. (Source: CBS 5 News)
FLAGSTAFF, AZ (CBS5) -
Some people forced to flee their homes as the Slide Fire burning north of Sedona grew in intensity were relocating to an American Red Cross shelter in Flagstaff.
The Grand Canyon Chapter of the American Red Cross saw about a dozen people Tuesday night at their temporary shelter. As the winds refused to let up and more evacuation notices were anticipated, Red Cross officials were expecting more people Wednesday night.
Inside Sinagua Middle School in Flagstaff, 18 people settled in late Wednesday.
"We lost everything we had, and we had to start all over again," said Kathleen Hess, who evacuated with her daughter only a couple of years after her Phoenix home went up in flames.
"If we weren't here, we would be sleeping in our car," Laura Loh said. She and her son live about three miles away from Slide Rock. They left their home Tuesday.
"We already had ashes coming into the yard," Loh said. They grabbed some essentials: a blanket, a jacket and a laptop to stay in touch with family. But they had to leave everything else behind.
"We couldn't find the cat fast enough so we just left," Loh said.
"It's a very traumatic experience," said Gene Munger with the American Red Cross. He said they have plenty of beds to accommodate evacuees such as Loh and her son.
He said they also have a standby shelter in Sedona that they haven't activated yet but are prepared to as evacuation orders continue to impact more communities.
"In all likelihood, I'm afraid she's going to lose everything," Munger said.
"This is the natural disaster, the non-ice kind of thing that just comes with the beauty of the canyon," Loh said.
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