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  • How the Thomas and Creek Fires Ruined LA

    Dec 05, 2017
    Thomas Creek Fire
    How the Thomas and Creek Fires Ruined LA
    in Property Damage, California Real Estate, JT Legal Group Blog

    How the Thomas and Creek Fires Made an Impact Overnight

    2017 has definitely been a hot year for Los Angeles. With a record-breaking amount of numerous fires we’ve had this year, locals may have felt a sigh of relief once the cold season finally swept through the city. Unfortunately, powerful gusts of winds caused not one, but TWO fires to erupt one day after another. The fires began around early morning (2-4 am) on Tuesday, December 5th, 2017, causing thousands to flee their home.

    The Dangerous Duo

    In a recent news briefing, the Ventura County Fire Chief, Mark Lorenzen mentioned “the prospects for containment are not good.” The two fires can be distinguished by the names “Thomas Fire” and the “Creek Fire.”

    Thomas Fire

    The Thomas Fire in Ventura county has ordered evacuations among 27,000 people. As of this writing, the gigantic flame has already scorched 45,500 acres. Within this hot dismay, reports have concluded that over 150 structures have been completely destroyed. Even as of 7 am this morning, the fire has yet to be contained. With over 1,000 firefighters on the job, many are diligently working to try and prevent any further damage from spreading. Winds of over 50 mph continuously battle our firefighters from being contained. Early Tuesday morning the Ventura County Fire Department warned the conditions are expected to worsen. Though more information on Ventura’s evacuation can be found on their website, the following are some of the evacuation shelters that are aiding nearby victims:

    • City of Ventura - Ventura County Fairgrounds at Miners Building (Red Cross - Includes an Animal Shelter for all types of animals) – 10 W Harbor Blvd, Ventura, CA 93001
    • City of Ojai - Nordhoff High School (Red Cross) -1401 Maricopa Hwy, Ojai, CA 93023
    • City of Oxnard - Oxnard College Gymnasium (Red Cross)- Open 12/5/17, 0700
    • City of Santa Paula - Santa Paula Community Center (City of SP run shelter) - Open 0800
    • City of Fillmore - Veteran's Memorial Bldg (City of Fillmore run shelter), 511 2nd Street - Open now

    The Ventura County website also mentions that you can donate to victims of the Thomas Fire by texting “UWVC” to 41444. This method allows 100% of the donations to be directly given to those affected by the fires.

    Creek Fire

    Like the Thomas Fire, the Creek fire made a horrendous impact. Just overnight 4,000 acres became scorched. Now (as of this writing), a confirmed 110,000 acres have been destroyed in this fire. Though no injuries have yet been reported, firefighters have been patrolling surrounding areas like Glendale, in hopes of restricting any opportunity for the fire to spread. Due to the cataclysmic change in routine, every day freeways like the 210, were shut down. The affected neighborhoods include San Fernando, Pacoima, Sun Valley, Sunland-Tujunga, La Crescenta-Montrose, and Burbank.

    Sunland Evacuation

    While mandatory evacuation centers are open to victims, others remain missing. The most important thing to do in times of urgency is to calm down, and breathe. Rash decisions are made when people are filled with adrenaline. Though times of urgency can be difficult, staying safe is the best thing you can do. Google has provided up to date information on evacuations and alerts. The site mentions different evacuation centers for Creek Fire victims including:

    • • (For People:)
      Sylmar Recreation Center - 13109 Borden Ave. Sylmar, CA 91342
    • • (For people and small animals:)
      Sunland Senior Center - 8651 Foothill Blvd. Sunland, CA 91040
    • • (For large animals:)
      Pierce College - 6201 Winnetka Ave. Woodland Hills, CA 91371
    • LA Equestrian Center - 480 Riverside Drive, Burbank, CA 91506

    For more information, check out the Los Angeles Fire Departments' alerts HERE.

    Steps for Those Severely Effected

    Times like this are why it's important to stick together. Below are some fire-damage safety tips composed by the team here at JT Legal Group. For emergencies call 911 immediately.

    1. Go to a Red Cross station. There you'll get a debit card to get you through the next few days. Maybe a few hundred dollars or so to buy stuff like clothing, toiletries, etc.

    2. Contact your insurance company. If your car is insured with the same company as your home, you have their phone # on the insurance card in your glove compartment. Your insurance company should be able to get you in a temporary hotel immediately and set up temporary residence shortly after.

    3. Begin logging EVERYTHING. Your mind will be spinning. You'll think you'll remember stuff but you won't. Log every contact from every name of every person who has contacted you.

    4. Go to the bank and get some cash. You may be amazed how good old-fashioned money in your wallet can help you get items that a credit card might not have.

    5. Keep every receipt. You'll spend from the initial loss through the whole ordeal. Every meal, every tank of gas, everything. It's all now related to your fire and re-reimbursable if it's something you wouldn't have spent if you didn't have a fire.

    6. Know your expenses. Even if you've only been evacuated and end up not losing anything to fire, your expenses while displaced are all covered by your homeowner's policy. It's called "Loss of Use". Keep those receipts, logs and records in order to recover your expenses.

    7. Seek legal assistance and representation. A trusted attorney will ensure your claim is handled correctly every step of the way, from initially opening the claim to settling your claim for the best possible amount. Without a trusted attorney to help defend your interests during this time of need, you may be subject to getting your well-deserved claim belittled with a very small amount, or even rejected.

    Please take into consideration that property damage cases are paid out until your attorney settles your claim, so there wouldn't be upfront costs when hiring an attorney.

    If you, or someone you love was affected by the Creek or Thomas Fire, contact our firm immediately. Here, we can help you get on the road to recovery without any hesitation. We diligently work to defend your interests and protect your rights. Even if you have a few questions, give us a call and ask. We’re here to help.

    Don’t Settle for Less.

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    888-LAW-3111 | 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    -- Jack Ter-Saakyan, Esq.

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