Beth and Albert were sitting in their trailer watching the news when a sand fire broke

Islamic Relief USA - Beth and Albert Helped by DRT during Santa Clarita Wildfires August 2016

“I could look out the door and I could see the smoke off in the distance,” Albert said. “But as we were watching the news, the fire grew from 13 acres to 50 acres to 100 acres. Then it got out of control.”

Over the next two weeks, the fire would burn through more than 41,000 acres. Beth and Albert watched with growing fear as it roared toward their home. Their worries were compounded by Beth’s lack of mobility, as she uses a wheelchair due to diabetes.

“Next thing I know, we have heavy smoke coming up the canyon and we have sheriff’s squad cars pulling into the lot and telling us on loudspeakers that we needed to be prepared to evacuate,” Albert said. “So I proceeded to get our three cats and our service doggy and my honey into mobile mode, loaded into our 4-door sedan. …

“Then they came in with the fire trucks and told us that we had a half hour till the road was closed and we wouldn’t be able leave due to the fire.”

They got out just in time. Albert said the fire sounded like a freight train behind them.

When they returned after 5 days at a Red Cross shelter, their home was partially damaged.

“Islamic Relief USA helped us with the lumber that we need for my fiancé to put the ramp together for me to get back into my home,” Beth said. “I’m tremendously grateful … Thank you all very much.”

Albert added, “We had to replace the refrigerator and thanks to Islamic Relief, we are able to do that,” Albert said. “We’re going to pay it forward.”

Learn more about IRUSA’s programs for neighbors in need on irusa.org/united-states.