People driven from their Multnomah Co. homes by fire find commun - KPTV - FOX 12

People driven from their Multnomah Co. homes by fire find community at shelter

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GRESHAM, OR (KPTV) -

The Eagle Creek Fire has displaced hundreds of people, including many residents of east Multnomah County.

Monday night and Tuesday morning, residents in communities including east Corbett, Bridal Veil, Dodson and Warrendale were told to evacuate.

Many of them spent the night in a Red Cross shelter set up on the campus of Mount Hood Community College in Gresham. While some spent the night in the gym, others just hung out in the parking lot with their fellow evacuees.

Neighbors from Latourell, Corbett and Larch Mountain Road found community at the shelter, sharing their hopes that the homes and communities they fled because of the Eagle Creek Fire will still be there when they return.

Some of the evacuees told FOX 12 they had lived in their small Oregon towns for more than 40 years and were now fearful it could all be lost.

“You're going to lose half of what you spent your life building so you can retire and enjoy the fruits of your labor,” displaced Latourell resident Chuck Rollins said. “Now it could all be gone.”

“What are you going to do?” fellow evacuee Bob Larson added. “It's going to burn down or it's not.”

They packed up their pets and their families, along with a few special belongings. Marcia Huitt had to take her coffee maker to make some good strong coffee after a sleepless night, while Steve Lehl had a lot more to pack up - thousands of pictures and antiques he will be donating to a new museum in his home town of Corbett.

All of the evacuees were safe, but still, they're worried, especially for those who are trying to save their homes.

“I'm concerned about the firefighters,” Rollins said. “They're putting their lives on the line and it's greatly appreciated.”

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