Feds say no help for Yarnell; Fire victims upset

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Friday’s announcement that the federal government will not provide disaster relief for the Yarnell Hill Wildfire has people who lost their homes upset.

While the smell of fire no longer permeates everything in Yarnell, the scars are still deep and visible. Rubble and charred brush still dominate the area’s landscape. 

However, some have started the rebuilding process.

“When [the fire] hit the garage I'm sure it caused a big explosion. And then when it got over to the neighbor’s yard - they had a 100 gallon propane tank that was full - she's still looking for her propane tank,” said Eve DeLange, who was cleaning ash off an outcropping of boulders on her now-homeless property on Friday.  “There was nothing left except about six inches of rubble.”

Even though Eve and her husband, Gordon, had the maximum possible insurance on their home it’s not going to be enough. Their claim will still be at least $50,000 short of covering all their losses.

They were hoping disaster relief from the feds would help and now they're upset FEMA said no to Yarnell.

“Whether it's five people or 500 or 50,000, ya know, we still are human beings and so we should receive help,” said Eve. “We're hurting.”

Yarnell sits in State Representative Andy Tobin's district.  He's not happy with the decision either and he's blaming the president.

“Shame on him. Shame on this Whitehouse for treating Arizona like this. I think it's a real crime,” Tobin told 3TV by phone after the announcement was made.

Arizona could still appeal the federal government’s decision.

The DeLanges think something should be done.

“To me the feds should do something.  I'm extremely disappointed.  We'll be okay eventually but boy I could sure use some help right now,” said Gordon DeLange.