Former Ventura couple survive Arizona fire

Friends collect unused gift cards to help

Tracy Lehr, KEYT NewsChannel 3 Reporter, tracy@keyt.com
POSTED: 05:54 PM PDT Jul 04, 2013    UPDATED: 04:01 PM PDT Jul 05, 2013 
VENTURA, Calif. -

For years, Cheryl Rascoe and Stacy Gingrich called Ventura home. Then they moved to Arizona hoping for a more affordable place to live.

On Sunday, they lost nearly everything they owned in the Yarnell Fire, the same fire that killed 19 firefighters.

Rascoe called it surreal and unreal.

She said they evacuated Saturday with their dog, Koda, and just a few belongings.

The home they rented was among the last to burn.

They are realizing they can't replace things belonging to their parents and grandparents, left behind, but they know they are lucky to have each other and their dog.

Their friends in Ventura are grateful, too.

Deborah Sutherland-Hocamp went on Facebook to ask friends to donate unused gift cards to the couple.   And the director of the Ventura Buddhist Center is doing the same.

The temple was one of the couple's favorite place in Ventura.

The same-sex couple hope to visit their friend in Ventura  when they can afford the trip. They also hope to get officially married in  California.

Although they haven't legally tied the knot, they celebrate their anniversary this month.

People may donate by sending gift cards or checks in care of Cheryl Rascoe and Stacy Gingrich to 418 Redwood Ave., Ventura, CA, 93003.

Donations may also go to their Yarnell Post Office address: Box 154, Yarnell, AZ 85362.

It will be a few more days until they are allowed to return to their burned up Arizona neighborhood.