California firefighter loses home while fighting another fire

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By Ben Aguirre Jr.
The Argus

FREMONT — One of Fremont’s firefighters lost his Santa Cruz County home to a wildfire last weekend as he was battling another blaze in Monterey County, fire officials said.

Richard Simon, a 25-year veteran of the fire department, was fighting fires in King City when he got word of the Trabing Fire, which started Friday afternoon and destroyed 630 acres and several homes, including Simon’s, near Highway 1 north of Watsonville, said Fremont Fire Division Chief Geoff LaTendresse

Simon’s family, including his wife and sons, were home at the time, but they escaped unharmed.

Fremont Fire Capt. Gerry Fogel said the family was able to round up most of the livestock, including horses, but the family lost three goats during the fire on their 3-acre property.

“It just shows that it can happen to anyone, even us,” Fogel said.

Simon has fire insurance. He and his family are staying with a friend for the time being, the officials said.

Firefighters have held an internal fundraiser and a clothing drive for the family, but no public fundraising efforts have been organized, the officials said.

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