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Residents In Path Of Car Fire Send Letters To Couple Who Sparked Blaze: “It’s Not Your Fault.”

Investigators now know that the deadly Carr Fire sparked late last month in northern California wasn’t an act of arson, or caused by someone who carelessly flicked a cigarette out the window.

It was an accident. When a trailer got a flat tire and the rim scraped the asphalt, the little spark lead to a massive blaze that has killed seven people and burned more than 211,000 acres — and counting. Investigators also know who owns the trailer, but have only identified him as an 81-year-old Redding resident.

carr fire trailer
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Community members know who he is, though, and that his wife has been wracked with guilt. She was the one who suggested they take the trailer out on July 23. But instead of getting out their pitchforks and torches, residents are responding with incredible compassion, letting the couple know no one’s blaming them. No one could have predicted that what started out as a minor incident would have such far-reaching ramifications.

carr fire stories
Facebook

In fact, Redding resident Rachel Pilli asked residents earlier this week to post notes expressing their compassion and understanding on a Facebook page, “Carr Fire Stories,” a collection of stories that shine the light on acts of heroism and community in the wake of the tragedy.

carr fire stories
Facebook

We learned that his wife is blaming herself for the #CarrFire, because she asked him to take the trailer in the first place. She has been crying day and night on her couch. Do you think we can show some grace and extend kindness (and even forgiveness) for the shame and despair that she is experiencing? Would you like to send a note that we will include in a card for them?

carr fire stories
Facebook

Within two days, more than 500 people had submitted notes to the devastated couple, and hundreds more have sent their own cards in a collective act of empathy and compassion. Communities have an incredible way of pulling together even in the midst of tragedies, both man-made and natural, and the evidence is right there on the page for anyone to see:

faith karimi tweet1carr fire stories
Twitter

Hope Seth, the page’s administrator, says even firefighters have taken time out of the grueling schedules to send in their own notes. Firefighters who aren’t even there, like Steve Walsh, reached out to the devastated couple and let them know the fire could just as well have been started by a bolt of lightning.

“Wrong place, wrong time,” he added. “No one can predict either or prevent either.”

carr fire comment2
Facebook

And that’s not the only act of compassion coming from these residents. They’ve provided food, water and even free haircuts to the firefighters and others helping to contain the blaze:

redding residents with signs
Facebook

And pulling their resources together in a strong show of strength and empathy, donating food, clothing, bedding and other necessities to help tide people over until they can get back on their feet again.

donation center
Facebook

They’re keeping each other posted on the latest developments, including letting everyone know that their loved ones are safe and accounted for, both human…

missing persons update
Facebook

And their animals!

pig found safe
Facebook

It’d be easy for these residents, and anyone else going through a trying time in their lives, to dwell on the negative and think only of the things they lost. But Redding and all the other communities affected by the Carr Fire are instead responding with love and understanding, and proving that even under the most dire circumstances, love still finds a way to shine through.

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Residents In Path Of Car Fire Send Letters To Couple Who Sparked Blaze: “It’s Not Your Fault.”

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