In the early morning hours of Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, 2015, South L.A. resident Rafael Rodriguez was at work when he received a call that his home was engulfed in flames. It took firefighters about 45 minutes to knock down the blaze, but the house was a total loss. Thankfully, his wife and daughters were with relatives at the time and no one was hurt.
Red Cross Disaster Action Team members Jeanne Wood and Grant Graves (pictured), dispatched by John Luong, were on the scene helping the Rodriquez family, distributing blankets, comfort kits, snacks and water, as well as financial assistance for lodging.
Fire officials said they think the blaze may be arson, and the family believes their home was burglarized. "They took some electronics, Christmas presents for our daughters," said Rodriquez.
Despite the devastation, Rafael said that he and his family have a lot to be thankful for. "That we still have our lives. Everything else is just materialistic."
Rafael expressed his deep appreciation to the American Red Cross and the L.A. Fire Department, which hosted the family at a special Thanksgiving meal that evening.