‘Everything was gone’: Sonoma family loses house in fire again – Sonoma Index-Tribune

Posted in Tattoo Nightmares on Nov 26, 2019

Jacob Orr is wearing a light blue oxford cloth dress shirt with BLM monogrammed on the cuff. The initials are not his. He got the shirt for free at the Bon Marche thrift store, using a voucher given to him by Sonoma Overnight Support because he and his family are homeless. Again.

Their rental home on Napa Road was burned to ashes in the middle of the night on Oct. 28, leaving them with nothing. In October 2017 they had lost their Lake County home and everything they owned when wildfire swept through while they were evacuated. When we got back everything was gone, said Orr.

Orr graduated from Sonoma Valley High in 1996, and Sara in 2002. They have two sons, Wyatt, 5, and Heath, 4. Sara is nine months pregnant and they are expecting their third child in December. Saras been having nightmares since escaping the fire, traumatized by the event itself and of the uncertainty of the future.

Orr, 42, is a welder by trade, a skill he learned from his late father, and is also an experienced house painter. After they were burned out in Lake County they returned to their native Sonoma, he was quickly able to get a job painting, and the family moved into a home for $3,200 a month in the Springs. Orr said that his painting employer retired and as a result he lost his job in December 2018 and could no longer afford their Springs home.

Through word of mouth he heard about a place that needed a lot of work but the price was right. In exchange for the labor Orr put in improving the building, the landlord, who lived on the property in a separate home, paid for the materials and charged only $1,500 rent. Orr had put in all new windows and gyp board, and refurbished the kitchen. He was working as a welder, mostly making gates, and had built a shop at the Napa Road site. I told my wife, We are going to be just fine.

Then last month fire a blaze still under investigation by the police took everything. Including, with the shop gone, Orrs ability to earn a living. Im a hard worker, he said, mentioning that he has gone to every welding company in town looking for work, but this is a quiet time of year in the welding business.

The owner of a vacation rental near their burned home saw Sara at the fire site when she was checking on the chickens, and offered to let the family stay there when it is not booked. They are so appreciative of their time there, but they had to leave Nov. 22 to make room for previously booked renters. They can return Dec. 10 to 14, when it is again unrented. Saras due date for the baby is Dec. 15, and those are the only housing plans they have on the horizon. Their car was also burned in the fire and a friend gave them an older model Dodge Journey, which they share, getting the kids to school and looking for work.

Wyatt goes to kindergarten at Prestwood Elementary, where he has an awesome teacher, Sara said. He is enjoying school and his classmates. Heath attends pre-school at Sassarini, and the family is hoping to find a place to live in Sonoma so they dont have to further disrupt the boys lives.

They are going to stay with Orrs mother for the Thanksgiving holidays in her small, two-room home. Then they will continue to try and put their lives back together.

Orr has a tattoo on the back of his hand that he got shortly after the 2017 fires. God send this man to heaven because hes spent his time in hell, it reads, and Sara says she has the same words, with woman replacing man tattooed on her back.

Hopefully their hellish days will be replaced by happiness soon. We are just trying to keep our heads up and be thankful for the good things that happen everyday, Orr said.

Jacob Orr can be reached via managingeditor@sonomanews.com.

Originally posted here:
'Everything was gone': Sonoma family loses house in fire again - Sonoma Index-Tribune

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