Students thanks first responders after Springs Fire

Cal State Channel Islands students, teachers signed posters for first responders

Victoria Sanchez, KEYT NewsChannel 3 Anchor/Reporter, victoriasanchez@keyt.com
POSTED: 06:29 PM PDT May 06, 2013    UPDATED: 10:23 PM PDT May 06, 2013 
CSUCI_fire_fighter_thank_you
CAMARILLO, Santa Barbara -

Cal State Channel Islands in Camarillo is back open after mandatory evacuations from the Springs Fire forced everyone to flee.

As students made their way around campus, they saw exactly how close the flames were to the buildings. Along the sidewalks, sprinkler heads were busted open because of the immense amount of heat.

"Oh yeah, there are burn lines on the building," said Holly Galbreath as she looked at the back of the gym on campus.

Galbreath and her three freshmen roommates inspected some close calls from the fire. The friends were evacuated from their dorm room as flames started heading toward campus.

"I just looked up at the sky and the sun was just red. I was like, this is not normal," said Catalina Perez.

"We tried to grab as much valuables as we could but it was pretty intense," said Hanna Hone.

The girls packed up their things and went to Galbreath's parents' home in Santa Clarita. They didn't know if they'd have a school to come back to.

"It was very scary. The first day we just had the news on for hours and hours and just watching it," said Galbreath.

Because of the hard work of firefighters and law enforcement, their campus was saved and they were able to return late Sunday night.

"I couldn't believe how close it was to the school. There were some points where it was about 6 feet from actual buildings and it was really scary so I'm really glad the first responders were here," said Lauren Little.

The roommates, along with hundreds of fellow students and teachers, wanted to let the first responders know how thankful they are their school was spared.

They signed posters, cars and took pictures that will be sent to those who helped save the university.

The students said they'll try to get back to normal as soon as possible, and they don't have much choice. Finals are just around the corner.