Neighbors Band Together to Rebuild After Thomas Fire Destroys Ojai Homes

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After days of protecting his Ojai ranch in the hills above town from the siege of fire, Trevor Quirk and his friend, Justin Homze, hosted a community meal in the parking lot of an Ojai market.

Leona Mote, left, high-fives Trevor Quirk as a team of volunteers helps sift through the rubble of her home near Ojai that burnt to the ground in the Thomas fire. Among the items recovered were her husband's wedding band, jewelry and part of a coin collection. (Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Leona Mote, left, high-fives Trevor Quirk as a team of volunteers helps sift through the rubble of her home near Ojai that burnt to the ground in the Thomas fire. Among the items recovered were her husband’s wedding band, jewelry and part of a coin collection. (Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Someone donated 100 burritos. There were pints of blueberries. Coffee was served.

But that was just a start.

After the breakfast, Quirk drove around his community of 11 years, delivering food to families. People donated what they had, and before long, his truck was full. Weeks later, that same parking lot is the Upper Ojai Relief Center, a community-led project to help the victims of California’s largest fire in recorded history.

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