Community comes together to help Potter Valley fire victims

A Potter Valley family devastated by the loss of two family members and all of their belongings in a weekend house fire are settling into another family home in the valley.

Donations are being collected at the Potter Valley Youth and Community Center as leaders in the rural Mendocino County valley are coordinating aid efforts.

"We've been in touch with the family, trying to meet their needs," said Nicole Glentzer, superintendent of the Potter Valley Community Unified School District.

The surviving family members included Dawn Tracy, her husband, Ken, and their three children, two girls, 18 months and 5 years, and an 11-year-old boy.

The girl is in kindergarten and the boy is a sixth grader. Both attend Potter Valley Elementary School.

The fire broke out at about 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the family's Main Street double-wide mobile home where they lived with grandfather Earl McDaniels, 87, and his son, Wes McDaniels, a 55-year-old developmentally disabled man.

All apparently were home at the time.

By several accounts the fire, which started inside, quickly consumed the home.

Efforts were made by family members to get to the victims. Some neighbors reported Saturday that Wes McDaniels was trying to get his father out when he also succumbed to the fire.

In the charred remains, firefighters found one of the victims in what had been a bedroom and one in another part of the home.

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