Retired paramedic loses RV home; family’s water well, solar panels and dreams up in smoke
By Miriam Raftery
Photos by Henri Migala, Miriam Raftery, Ryan and Gemma Sommers
September 10, 2022 (Potrero) – Ryan and Gemma Sommers had a dream—to build an earth-berm home on 80 acres in Potrero that Ryan grew up on and inherited from his father. So when the Border 32 Fire swept through the community last week, Ryan didn’t hesitate – he headed into the wildfire and fought singlehandedly to save what he could. But the family had no insurance, and their losses are overwhelming.
“I have been trying to live out my father’s dream of living self-sustainability on a ranch,” says Ryan, who lost his father to pancreatic cancer in 2020. Now the fire has torched much of their property, including burning his uncle’s RV home to the ground. “My uncle has lost everything,” Ryan reflects. Ryan and Gemma also suffered major losses, with Ryan risking his life to save what he could.
On a GoFundMe page set up to help the family repair and rebuild their lives, Gemma wrote, “We don’t want to say goodbye to our land that has been in our family these past 21+ years..”