PARADISE, CA (WCMH/AP) — A couple in California opened their home to an elderly veteran who may have lost his home in a wildfire.
Oroville businesswoman Tracy Grant has taken in a 93-year-old World War II veteran who doesn’t know if his home in Paradise is still standing after a deadly wildfire swept through.
Grant said Sunday she was handing out hamburgers to evacuees Thursday at the Forebay Aquatic Center, which is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Paradise, when she encountered Lee Brundige in his car.
He initially refused the hamburger she offered, saying she should give it to someone who really needed it. She tried to get him to a shelter, but he said he was fine sleeping in his car.
The next day, she convinced him to come home with her when the sheriff’s office told people to clear out of the parking lot due to worsening air.
“He looks at me and kind of grunted, ‘No I don’t want to take advantage of anyone, you’re too kind.’ So I said, ‘This is my car. You’re going to follow that bumper until we stop,” she said.
Grant and her boyfriend hit it off with the World War II vet, and a couple of days later, they took him in.
Her small dog Axle has kept Brundige company in the recliner they share and says the vet is welcome to stay in her house as long as he would like.
Grant says Brundige’s son knows he’s safe but she posted his father’s photo on social media so his friends know too.