Concow Family Survives, Helps Others During Camp Fire - NBC Bay Area
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Concow Family Survives, Helps Others During Camp Fire

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Concow Family Survives, Helps Others During Camp Fire

    With all the incredible stories of survival from those who escaped the flames in the city of Paradise, a family from the community of Concow just a couple of miles away had their own tale to tell. Melissa Colorado reports. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018)

    With all the incredible stories of survival from those who escaped the flames in the city of Paradise, a family from the community of Concow just a couple of miles away had their own tale to tell.

    The Moak family managed to save their home, save strangers, and even took it upon themselves to count the hundreds of homes that made it and those that did not.

    At the Neighborhood Church in Chico, where dozens of homeless fire victims were staying, family members have jotted down the names of the missing on a wall. The name of a 90-year-old man from Concow named Bruno is not listed because he was saved by Peggy and Pete Moak.

    "Who would have thought it would come this hard and fast? Peggy said about the Camp Fire, which has claimed at least 56 lives and scorched 215 square miles in Butte County.

    Last Thursday morning, when the flames crept closer to the Moaks' home in Concow, the family got to work.

    "If we want to live out here, we have to be able to take care of ourselves," Pete said. "We can’t depend on the fire department."

    The Moaks comprised a mini army of 13 people, armed with sprinklers, hoses and common sense. That’s when a stranger alerted them there was crisis unfolding in the nearby Concow Reservoir.

    "There’s people suffering from hypothermia on what we call the island," Pete said. "There’s a 90-year-old man out there, so we got the canoe."

    The family went from firefighter mode to caretaker mode in a split second.

    "Bruno, the elderly man, he was feeble at that point and suffering, so we just laid him on our couch and covered him up with blankets and then stripped off his wet clothes and got him warmer," Peggy said.

    Even the youngest member of the Moaks, Peggy’s 14-year-old grandson Daniel Hill, stepped up to help. He surveyed the houses in Concow that made it and those that were gone – and posted an unofficial list to Facebook.

    "I'm grateful that I was able to do something for the community," Daniel said.

    Peggy added: "People rise to the occasion and do what you need to do in order to take care of folks."

    Bruno received medical attention the next day and was doing well Wednesday.

    The family says they’re currently feeding and taking care of their neighbor’s animals and surveying their neighbors' property.

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