Houston-area firefighters return from California

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After about a week helping battle the deadly wildfires in California, firefighters from all over the Houston and Galveston area are home.

“I’m really honored to be part of it and be able to go and help,” said Captain Randy Tauch with Forest Bend Fire Department.

“It was hard to leave because there was still more work to be done but it’s nice to be home for the holidays. But if they call us back we’ll definitely go again,” said Zac Hon, a firefighter with the City of Webster.

Tauch and Hon were deployed near Malibu fighting the Woolsey fire that spread over nearly 100,000 acres.

“We were doing structure protection, relieving the crews that were out there,” added Hon. 

Fire Captain Patrick Shipp with City of Webster is also the supervisor for the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS). He was also deployed to Malibu but oversaw about 200 Texas firefighters spread across California.

He says they were there as some families returned to where they’re homes once stood. He recalled people searching for priceless mementos like photographs and family heirlooms.

“Two weeks ago or a week and a half ago, they were trying to figure out whose house they were have turkey at or what they were going to have for Thanksgiving. And now they don’t have anything,” said Shipp.