Firefighter Whose Home Burned in 2009 Blaze Loses Home in Sand Fire

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A firefighting helicopter hovers close to the flames from the Sand fire as it burns out of control along Soledad Canyon Road near Acton on Sunday. (Credit: Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)

A firefighter who had previously lost a home in a major 2009 blaze lost another home in the Sand Fire, which has scorched more than 50 square miles in the eastern Santa Clarita area, officials said.

Five homes associated with the Bear Divide Ranger Station were destroyed in the Sand Fire — and three of those homes were occupied by firefighting personnel, the Los Angeles Times reported. One of the firefighters also lost a home during the Station Fire in 2009, Angeles National Forest fire Chief Robert Garcia told the newspaper.

The Santa Clarita Valley Signal identified the three firefighters as Ramon Chavez, James Robledo and Sergio Toscano.

Multiple fundraising efforts have sprung up online to help raise money for the firefighters and their families.

As of Tuesday morning, a GoFundMe account for Toscano, a senior firefighter for the Little Tujunga Hotshots, had raised more than $20,000. Toscano’s son was staying with the firefighter’s mother elsewhere when the Sand Fire hit their home, according to the GoFundMe account set up on his behalf.

According to an update on the page, the funds will be split with other Forest Service families affected by the blaze.

A YouCaring page — which has raised just shy of raising $10,000 as of Tuesday morning — was set up for the Chavez, Robledo and Toscano families, along with the Shock family, which also lost a home in the area.

The Sand Fire has burned more than 35,000 acres, destroyed 18 homes. One person was found dead in the burn area; he had not been identified.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified which firefighter lost a home twice. It has been updated.

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