Anonymous benefactor aids Rohnert Park fire victims with rent-free home

After a fire Nov. 13 drove the Baltazar family into the night in their pajamas, destroyed their Rohnert Park home and took with it virtually all their possessions ...

After too many motels turned them away because they no longer had any forms of identification ...

After they finally found a room at the Good Nite Inn on Redwood Drive, where Pablo and Ashley Baltazar slept on the floor while their four children shared two beds ...

After someone let slip to 8-year-old Romeo the news that Copper, the little stray cat he'd cared for since it was a kitten, had died of smoke inhalation ...

After weeks of the parents trying to hold themselves together for their children's peace of mind ...

After all that, a woman approached Ashley Baltazar at McOmber Law, the Santa Rosa firm where Baltazar is a paralegal, and made her cry.

The woman was a client from Minnesota in town for a trial, someone to whom Baltazar had spoken on the telephone but had never met.

"She just came up to me and said, &‘Why don't you stay at my place; you don't have to pay anything,'" Baltazar recalled last week, sitting at the dining room table of the spacious Guerneville home where her family has found an unexpected haven.

For the Baltazars, a holiday season that started with heartache and loss has been leavened with some startling generosity.

On Dec. 7, the family moved into the three-story, riverside vacation home opened to them by the client, who declined to be interviewed and wanted to remain anonymous.

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