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East County News Service

May 7, 2021 (San Diego's East County) - The Southern Fire burned some 5200 acres May 1st through 3rd, forcing evacuations and destroying three structures, including Eduardo (Eddie) and Priscilla Valenzuela’s ranch home near Butterfield Ranch

The family narrowly escaped with their children ages 10, 5 and 2 years old.  The fire moved so quickly that the family of five could only salvage one bag of belongings before firefighters escorted them to safety, and lost everything else, except their horses that were set free and several barn cats that also survived.

The Valenzuelas had lived there for six or seven years and were renting from Gerald Cap Jr.  The property was known for its collection of classic vehicles.

There are several ways to help the Valenzuela family.

A GoFundMe site has been set up to help the Valenzuela family.

Eddie Valenzuela told ECM, "We need food, and home school items.My oldest 10 yrs old son is autistic and I'm home schooling him and my 5-year-old right now due to the pandemic, everything is virtual learning at the moment but the fire took their internet server and laptops and books and their desks and all school necessities."

Javier Flores, who set up the fundraiser, says, “Were glad they made it safely out but now would like to ask for help from the community and friends to restore their peace of mind,” adding, “Thank you and God bless our firefighters. 

You can donate at

Several fundraising events are also planned.

A lunch to benefit the family will be held on Thursday, May 13 from 11 a.m. to1  p.m.  at the Santa Ysabel BIN builin 110 on Schoolhouse Canyon Road. A pulled-pork sandwich  with slaw and dessert will cost for $8; a raffle will also be held.

Sons of the American Legion will host a breakfast benefit on Sunday, May 23 from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.  at 2503 Wshington St. in Julian. Cost is $12.  Breakfast includes eggs, biscuits, gravy, sausage, corned beef hash, orange juice and coffee.

A car show fundraiser will be held May 29 in Oceanside at Mance Buchanan Park. Clubs and solor riders are welcome. See flyer below for details.

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