Tooele residents make plans for the future after fire devastates community

Posted at 9:27 PM, Jul 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-21 15:03:30-04

TOOELE, Utah -- Tooele residents are coming together to plan for the future after a fire destroyed ten homes and damaged several others.

“I think that's a blanket my great, great grandma made for one of us: It’s still somewhat colorful,” said one man as he searches for irreplaceable belongings in the ashes of what once was his family’s home.

While the Tooele families work to wrap their heads around the devastation, city leaders and community members are working to help the victims.

Dozens gathered Wednesday night to talk about a game plan to move forward.

“You’ve seen what's happened, it’s kind of ripped our hearts out and laid it on the streets, and now we have an opportunity to pick it up again,” said Amber Savage, a Disaster Program Manager for the Red Cross of Greater Salt Lake.

In only 18 hours, the small community has made strides in recovering. Donations have been flooding in since the middle of the night.

“I've never seen what I’ve seen here in Tooele,” Savage said. “Resilience of people, especially in communities like this, it's encouraging."

City leaders and local businesses worked on the best way to streamline the process and to help families rebuild their life from the ground up

“We have families that have lost vehicles, they have no way to get to work," said Christy Johnson, a homeless liaison for the Tooele County School District. "If you can think about replacing everything in your pantry, everything in your fridge, no clothing, no shoes."

Many find the resilience of the small community encouraging.

“It's about more of what they had but what they can build in the end,” Savage said.

FOX 13 News and Zions Bank have teamed up to raise funds to help the victims affected by the fire. Click here for details.