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Santa Barbara Tea Fire: Westmont College

See this pretty little chapel? It's at Westmont College, a pretty little college in Santa Barbara California. My Mom attended Westmont, and now our niece is there too. You have heard about her, actually from her, before: Lakme's Flower Duet.

Alas, according to the news reports, this little chapel is ablaze, as are several residence halls. The students, my niece included, are sheltering-in-place in the concrete gymnasium. My sister has heard from her daughter several times this evening - they expect to spend the night in the gym. Apparently they don't realize that there are fire-fighters on campus and the buildings are burning (including Clark dorm, according to this guy). I hope that my niece merely has to endure a night or two of sleeping in a shelter and then it's back to school as usual.

Independent reporter Chris Meagher is on scene at the main gate of Westmont College in Montecito. Windy conditions are exacerbating the Tea Fire, which authorities say started early this evening in an area north of Westmont in an area known as the Tea Garden. According to Meagher's latest report, the chapel and several residences are on fire at Westmont, it is very windy, and embers are flying around everywhere.
It's such a pity, as it is such a pretty campus and she has been so happy there. My Gift From A Generous God grew up in California. He says that the news reports and pictures always make it look worse then it is. Here's hoping he is right.


Link to map of Westmont campus.

Latest from Westmont:


Conditions on campus improved to the point where staff were able to get food from the Dining Commons and bring it to the gym, where the community is sheltered in place.

Conditions in the area may make it possible now to leave the campus for a Red Cross shelter, but that option is still being explored.

Firefighters are currently attempting to put out several fires at Clark Hall. Structures lost to or significantly damaged by fire include the Physics Building, the 'old Math" building, Bauder Hall and the Quonset Huts.

Again, we are grateful that no one has been hurt on campus, and everyone is safely in the gymnasium and in good spirits.

And the latest from my sis: beloved niece and friends has been picked up from campus by family member of one of friends and is out of the fire area.

PS. And the pretty photo of the pretty chapel? The credit for that goes to my second cousin, Brad Elliott. uhm, Brad, is it okay if I use your pic?

:: one year ago today: collapsible blogrolls
:: two years ago today: ACK

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