Longtime Yucaipa residents, Marge Chapin and Rob and Susie Huddleston, are just one of many families affected by the El Dorado Fire that started on Sept. 5. Years of heirlooms perished in their barn fire.
From the outside eye, it appears to be just an ordinary barn that fell victim to the flames, but to the Chapin and Huddleston family it was so much more.
The barn held irreplaceable family heirlooms that will be lost forever. Just a few items in the barn included sports memorabilia, a wedding dress, yearbooks, holiday decorations, woodworking tools, family photographs and so much more. Not only did the barn store family heirlooms, but it was a place where family and friends gathered for parties over the years.
The family also lost a 1949 Ford flatbed truck in the fire.
“The truck was originally my grandfather’s. Years ago, my father used the ‘49 Ford as a work truck in the Highland orange groves. It is a devastating loss to our family,” said Susie Huddleston.
After the Chapin and Huddleston family evacuated their residence on Sunday, the fire destroyed the barn an hour later.
“My daughter called us from out of state and told us our barn was destroyed after viewing the fire destruction on a live feed on social media,” said Susie. “We did not know if our house was gone too. It’s devastating to see everything is gone in and around the barn. I’m thankful my house is still standing. In all actuality, it is just stuff and we have our home. We hope to rebuild in the future.”
“Thankfully, we had enough time and warning to evacuate before the fire destroyed our barn,” said Rob Huddleston.
“The barn was home to my dad’s woodworking shop, where he made a lot of the furniture that is in our house. He also just started a small-business making wooden flags and custom pieces for friends and family. I started a Go Fund Me fundraiser to assist with constructing a new barn for my parents and grandmother,” said Bailey Huddleston.
Search Bailey’s Huddleston’s Facebook page for more information on the fundraiser.
Many families are suffering the wrath of the El Dorado Fire. For resources and information pertaining to the El Dorado Fire, contact the public information hotline at 383-5688.