Neighbors help family whose house burned down in La Tuna Fire

SUNLAND, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Neighbors, family and friends joined together to help a couple clean up what was left of a home that burned down in the massive La Tuna Fire.

Craig Bollesen spent his childhood growing up at a property perched over a canyon off Sunland Boulevard. Now, that home is just piles of charred debris.

Bollesen's old house in Sunland was one of four homes destroyed by the 7,000-acre La Tuna Fire over the holiday weekend.

MORE: "Active" flames no longer burning in La Tuna Fire

He described the fire's fury as a freight train.

"I looked across the Valley at the fire, and it was going from this little spot sections of flame to this cohesive wall, and then it just started to lean forward and march," he shared.

It was in that moment that neighbor Mike Pickett helped Bollesen carry his 88-year-old father out of the property to safety. Bollesen's mother also escaped.

He said they were never under a mandatory evacuation order.

"As a matter of fact we saw a fire truck and they pulled back, and they were redeployed," Bollesen recalled.

On Monday, with active flames no longer in sight, there was an incredible show of support from longtime family friends and neighbors volunteering to pick up the pieces - hoping to salvage anything of value.

Some keepsakes have been recovered, including a safe. Whatever wasn't burned Bollesen will give to his parents. But he said he wishes they could witness the moment of unity from their friends and neighbors.

Volunteers from the couple's church helped create a cross from burnt wood and had it stand tall where the home used to be.

"When you lose everything and you just have nothing left, you realize what you do have is your family, your life and your community," Bollesen said. "And all of those things are wrapped around my parents right now with love and support."

If you'd like to help the family, visit their GoFundMe page.
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