How to Help Those Affected by SoCal Brush Fires

Westlake Village Residents Return to Neighborhood to Find Ashes and Dirt After Woolsey Fire Rages Through

David Spence inspects the burned-out shell of his home in Oak Forest Estates. (Credit: Dakota Smith / Los Angeles Times)

David Spence inspects the burned-out shell of his home in Oak Forest Estates. (Credit: Dakota Smith / Los Angeles Times)

Residents choked back sobs Saturday as they returned to Oak Forest Estates, a mobile home park nestled between the two hillsides in Westlake Village. Hit hard by the Woolsey fire, the community lost about 14 homes, residents said. By Saturday morning, the wind had died down and the air smelled of soot and burning plastic. Ash, twisted metal and charred pieces of wood lay in piles where homes once stood. Blackened juniper trees dotted the barren landscape.

Resident David Spence walked through the wreckage on Saturday. He’d lived in this tight-knit community for 20 years. His home had burned to the ground.

“You want to know a funny story, it was in escrow,” he said. “I was selling it.” Neighbors walked by, offering words of condolences to Spence and holding handkerchiefs to their mouths to guard against the smoky air.

Spence walked around the ruins and found his safe, which stored a gun and important papers, he said.

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