The Coast News Group

Residents turn out to support fire department

RANCHO SANTA FE — While the Witch Creek Fire seems a long time ago for many, it is still fresh in the minds of the people of Rancho Santa Fe. That is why many of them turned out to support the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District at its annual pancake breakfast held on Sept. 26 at the station.
“The firemen saved my house during the fire on Oct. 2, 2007,” said LaVerne Schlosser. “It came right to my door. It burned most of the landscape, but my house was saved by the firefighters. They are in my prayers every night.”
Schlosser’s home is at the end of Guadalupe next to the San Dieguito River.
“I would do anything to support the department. We had a real close call,” she said.
This grateful resident was not the only one to turn out for the event. Organizers estimated that about 350 would pass through the line for the pancake, sausage and eggs.
The money raised from the event will be used for the various charities supported by the department, including Rady Children’s Hospital, breast cancer research, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Casa de Amparo, the Burn Institute and the various charity dinners hosted by the department, said Dave Livingstone, president of the firefighter’s association.
Organizers hoped to raise about $3,500 from the event, which has hosted for more than 20 years.
Rancho Santa Fe Fire Capt. Mark Richards, who has been with the department for 29 years, was enjoying the event with his family.
“It’s really important that people understand what their fire department does for them. “It’s educational and it’s better to be friendly with a face,” Richard said.
The breakfast, part of Rancho Days, has become a mainstay in the celebration. The food was donated by Stump’s Village Market and the coffee by Caffe Positano.
Several tables were set up in the bay of the fire station where people sat to eat. They then could tour the fire station, check out fire trucks, take a ride in one and turn on a fire hose to see how it felt.
“The fire department does so much for us here in Rancho Santa Fe,” said Beth Nelson who was pouring syrup on the pancakes of her daughter Roni, 10.
Her family too had a close call during the Witch Creek Fire.
“I was amazed I still had a house,” she said.
Nelson credits the fire department for saving her home.