TWENTYNINE PALMS — Kelly Schumacher and her family have been staying at the Motel 6 since a fire tore through their garage and damaged their home.
“We are doing OK and, yes, Red Cross has been a blessing,” Schumacher, the former Food For Life president, said Monday afternoon. “The community has been wonderful on helping us.”
People have given them diapers, dog food, leashes, clothing, cash and gift cards.
The fire heavily damaged the home in the 73000 block of Sun Valley Drive, Friday, Feb. 7.
Schumacher said the fire began in the garage and may have been related to faulty electrical equipment. She said she heard a pop from the area just before she saw the flames.
No one was hurt, she said, though her husband was forced to leave his oxygen tank behind. She added that one of her dogs had not been accounted for.
Twentynine Palms firefighters were joined by firefighters from as far away as Morongo Valley in fighting the blaze, which heavily damaged the garage and spread to the living quarters of the home.
In 2018, Schumacher was given the Citizen of the Year award by Mayor McArthur Wright for her work for Food For Life, the ministry that provides weekly free meals to residents in need in Twentynine Palms.
She has also been active in the annual Point In Time count of homeless residents in Twentynine Palms.
She was removed from leadership at Food For Life recently on allegations of misuse of funds. She denied those accusations.