January 19th, 2012, an 80 mph fire storm blew through Washoe Valley and continued north toward Reno. In Old Washoe Estates, we lost five homes to the devastating fire. Most of the 49 other homes here also sustained significant damage in one way or another. Roofs, fences, yards, trees, shrubbery, landscaping and homes were damaged, as well as our surrounding fields of common area. Every homeowner has a story about that fire. It occurred mid-day and many were not at home. A number of us were here and others tried desperately to get back to their homes, not knowing for hours or even days if their homes were standing or not. We’d like to thank those forgotten few who stayed and fought that awful fire. Evidently there is no law in the state of Nevada that says you cannot stay and fight a fire threatening your home, even though firefighters recommend you leave. It appeared, to those that stayed, that our firefighters (very brave though they are) were understandably overwhelmed with the firestorm and we didn’t have enough water or water pressure (or firemen), it seemed at the time, to do the job, as the fire blew north toward pleasant Valley and South Reno. It was a very, very frightening and powerful rush of knock down wind, embers and walls of fire.

This is a thank you to our firefighters, but also a sincere thank you to those homeowners in our neighborhood who contributed to saving all the homes that did not burn to the ground because of your efforts:

Thank you, Gary, Jay, Greg Z, Greg P, Chuck, Pete, Michael, Bob, Jim, Miyka and his friend, and others that we may not have known about.

Thank you, thank you, and thank you for your courage, determination and very hard work….we saw you in action. Your clothes were burned, your hands and faces black, your hair and eye brows singed, and shoes burned….courage high!

A special thanks to Jim Martin who passed away two months later at age fifty-two from undiagnosed heart disease. You will live in our hearts forever. We miss you very much, Jim, but your beautiful spirit lives on.

In loving memory,

Your family, neighbors and friends