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Friendship Born From King Fire Evacuations

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Tilly Holtrop and Violet Jakob have lived just down the street from one another for more than a decade, but had never met. As evacuees from the King Fire, the two immigrants struck up a fast friendship and find they have plenty in common.

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Sometimes, something good comes out of a disaster like the King Fire -like a friendship.

At about 9 a.m., Violet Jakob and Tilly Holtrop finished a morning walk near the Red Cross Shelter in Camino.  Tilly remembers how she felt a week ago when she was told the King Fire was close and she had to leave her home.

"We had to evacuate. I have three dogs and I really was reluctant," says Tilly. "But, I stuffed them all in the back of my little Ford Focus and off we went!" Then she laughs. She has an accent you'd expect from a native of Holland.

A day later, Violet packed up her animals, took them to a board and care, and then she went to the Red Cross Shelter. That's where she met Tilly.

"I heard her talking. I realized she has an accent," says Violet, herself with a thick, eastern-European accent. "And I said, 'Well, she's kind of alone. I'm kind of alone...'  You know, not alone. The family's back east,"...back east being Hungary.

They're now fast friends and amazed at how much they have in common -they're vegetarians, avid readers, dog-lovers, and now, big fans of the Red Cross.

And to think, for the last twelve years, they've lived just down the road from each other and never knew.