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Community rallies around Montecito firefighters who lost homes in mudslide

Firefighters lose homes

MONTECITO, Calif. - Two Montecito Fire Protection District firefighters are rebuilding their lives after their homes were washed away in the mudslides. 

On Jan. 9, mud and debris flowed down from the hillsides on top of neighborhoods in Montecito. 

Montecito firefighters were among the first to answer the cries for help and two of those firefighters' homes were also in the path of destruction. 

"Their homes and their possessions were destroyed by the flood, just up the creek from where we are now and they didn't have time to deal with that and they didn't honestly care at that point. They were just focused on saving lives," said John Abraham Powell, Director of the Montecito Fire Protection District. 

The firefighters found themselves in unfamiliar territory. Now they needed some help. 

"These are people who have dedicated their lives to helping people. They are not used to asking for help and they don't like to do it," Powell said. 

Powell reached out to local realtor Suzanne Perkins who posted a message on Facebook.

"Since the minute she posted that I've been hit by an absolute avalanche of love and support directed right at my cell phone," Powell said. 

Offers of housing for both firefighter's families poured in. 

The firefighters did not want to be identified, but Powell said they wanted to extend their gratitude to the community for all of its support. 


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