While lifelong Summerhome Park resident Jim Fay lies in a hospital bed suffering from burns, his friends in the Russian River community have started a fundraising drive for the man who lost everything in a fire Monday that destroyed his home and threatened the neighborhood.
“His grandfather built that cabin. He’s been a member of this community his entire life. He has lost every single last thing,” said Lisa Christensen, a longtime friend.
Summerhome Park is a private community west of Forestville that stretches from the beaches of the Russian River into the redwood-studded canyons above and is a vacation spot for numerous families who’ve owned property there for generations.
Fire officials Tuesday were at the Laurel Avenue scene, combing through the charred remnants for signs of what sparked the fire at the back of Fay’s cabin.
While they could tell it started in the upstairs living room of the split-level residence, what caused it couldn’t be determined as any evidence was destroyed, said Michael Franceschi, Forestville fire investigator. The cause remained under investigation, however, as a few more people needed to be interviewed.
Fay suffered burns and smoke inhalation. He was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and then transferred to another facility, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Christensen, his friend, said Fay now is at St. Francis Burn Center in San Francisco and was expected to be there at least a week.
Fire officials initially said the man was burned after he ran into his burning garage to try and save a vehicle. But Christensen said she understood he was burned while trying to dampen a neighbor’s deck, which is right in line with his role in the close-knit community.
“He does everything for everybody. He lives very simply. He’s just a good guy. He’s lost everything, and we want to try to help him,” Christensen said.
They set up a GoFundMe.com account called Help Jim Fay, Christensen said. The donation page can be found at gofundme.com/dwj7ts. By Tuesday night, it had raised more than $8,300 toward a $15,000 goal.
While the majority of families in Summerhome Park use their properties for vacations, Fay lived there year round with his 90-year-old mother. The Red Cross is helping his mother.
When the fire sparked at about 3:20 p.m., the family cabin was quickly consumed. The fire sent up a large, dark plume of smoke seen for miles.
The residence and garage were a total loss, as were four cars and three motorcycles. Two other cars were damaged, and as many as five other structures had minor to moderate damage.
But as the fire occurred during a drought, in a dry redwood forest with numerous vacation cabins and homes, it had the potential to be far worse, officials said.
At the height of the firefighting effort, one home was ablaze, 12 homes were threatened, several vehicles were burning, a grass fire was heading up the hill and fiery embers were floating into the neighborhood, landing on roofs and vehicles, said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Marshall Turbeville, who was first to the scene and directed the firefight.
The complex effort included downed power lines, which prevented engines from getting close to the burning cabin. Firefighters lobbed water over the downed lines.
Raiders lose Carrie to Browns
TJ Carrie started 15 games for the Raiders last season, but he’s headed to the Cleveland Browns for 2018, according to multiple reports.
According to NFL insider Adam Caplan, Carrie’s deal is for four years and $31 million with $10 million guaranteed at signing and $15.5 million in total guarantees. The Raiders assuredly weren’t touching that price range to bring Carrie back, even if he was arguably their most consistent cornerback in 2017.
Carrie’s 2017 base salary was around $1.8 million. He played the most defensive snaps of anyone on the team not named Reggie Nelson last season. Carrie was a seventh-round pick by Oakland in the 2014 draft that brought Khalil Mack, Derek Carr and Gabe Jackson to the Bay Area. In four years with the Raiders, he played 60 games (started 36), grabbed three interceptions, forced three fumbles and recorded 168 tackles.
Carrie is returning close to where he attended college at Ohio University. With his departure, the Raiders will now be without three cornerbacks in 2018 who started games for them in 2017 — Carrie, Sean Smith and David Amerson. The cornerbacks left on Oakland’s roster are Gareon Conley, Dexter McDonald and Antonio Hamilton. Clearly, Reggie McKenzie and Jon Gruden have additions to make at the position.
Former Raiders defensive lineman Denico Autry will sign with the Indianapolis Colts on a three-year deal worth $17.8 million with $6.5 million guaranteed, per NFL Network. Autry was an underrated piece of Oakland’s defense in 2017, tallying five sacks and seven passes defended. Over his four years with the Raiders, Autry played in 56 games (started 18) with 10.5 sacks and 12 passes defended to go along with 74 tackles.
— San Jose Mercury News