Early in the morning on October 8, David Larson made one of his most important pick up and deliveries, saving his elderly, disabled neighbor.
Just after midnight, the 25-year UPS veteran and member of Local 665 got a call from his dad who saw on the news that a fire was approaching his Glen Ellen home and moving quickly.
“I put on sneakers, looked out the back door, and saw a huge plume of smoke. I heard the police going down the road giving the evacuation notice. I knew that this was the real thing,” he explained.
As Larson made his plan to exit, he remembered his neighbor, Karin Dell, who lives about a half-mile up the hill behind his house. After calling his next door neighbors to make sure they were awake and getting out, Larson tried calling her. Then he got in his car and drove up the hill. “Her house was just glowing orange,” he recalls. After helping her gather her cats in their carrier, “I got her and her walker in the car. We drove off with the fire right behind us.”
It took a few hours for Larson to find a safe place for Dell and her cats to stay. Then he drove around barricades to get back to his house. “I turned on all my hoses to try to save my house and the area, but the embers were flying and the wind was out of control. I ran into the house to grab my phone, i-pad, and a wad of cash and I got out of there. I came back two hours later, and my house was completely gone.”
Larson reports that Dell is staying with family. “She’s a tough old lady and is very eager to get the ball rolling to rebuild.” Larson is currently staying in a small apartment down the road from his house. He figures it’ll take 2-3 years to get his house rebuilt. “Right now, it Iooks like a nuclear bomb went off. I’m still in a state of shock,” Larson says. “UPS has been great, but they’re eager for me to get back to work.”
To directly support Teamsters in Northern California who lost their homes, please send a check to:
All-Charities Teamsters c/o Joint Council 7
250 Executive Parkway, Suite 3100
San Francisco, CA 94134
Teamsters and others in Houston, across Florida and in Puerto Rico still need your help.
To donate online, go to:
Donation checks may be sent to:
Disaster Relief Fund
c/o International Brotherhood of Teamsters
25 Louisiana Ave. NW,
Washington, DC 20001