Woman who lost everything in Cayuse Mountain Fire is grateful fo - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Woman who lost everything in Cayuse Mountain Fire is grateful for donations

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WELLPINIT, Wash. -

The Cayuse Mountain Fire burning on the Spokane Indian Reservation is now at least 50 percent contained. It's burned more than 18,000 acres and least 14 homes have been destroyed.

Thankfully, piles of donations from people all over the region, left downtown Spokane Friday morning for people who have lost everything. It took three U-Haul trucks and two extra cars to bring all the donations over to the Wellpinit High School field house. The drive also brought in more than $9,000.

The donations arriving in Wellpinit was an overwhelming view for resident Tonya McDaniel. "This is awesome. This is wonderful," said McDaniel. Piles of clothing, kitchenware, anything that's needed for someone to rebuild their life. "I lost everything. Everything that I've accumulated for 40 years. I made it out with the clothes on my back," said McDaniel.

What's left of her property isn't much, a welcoming sign to her home and charred rubble from the fire's destructive path. Tonya's  kids were visiting Sunday which was the first time everyone was together in 10 years but it was disrupted. "My son called and said, 'Get out of your house! Get out now, the fire is coming to you!' I never even thought I would be in this predicament. It's just hard," said McDaniel.

Hard but she can't help but be grateful for what she does have from all the donations. She's glad no lives were lost from the fire too.  

An organizer of the donation drive says that if people still want to donate, you can. They are looking for bottled water because it remains a problem in Wellpinit. The town's water tank sits at 30 feet, and on Wednesday it was at 2 feet. As of Friday, it was at 20 feet and has made significant progress but residents are still asked to conserve water. Checks can be made out to the Cayuse Fire Victims fund.

There's another donation drive coming up on Monday 8 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. It's at Carrington College located at 10102 E Knox Ave Ste 200, Spokane, WA 99206. This drive is for all victims of the area fires. They're looking for donations that include toiletries, non-perishables, water and household items.

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