Southern California -- this just in

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'It's just a house, an old one'

November 14, 2008 | 12:29 pm

Among the new arrivals at the Red Cross emergency shelter in the gym at San Marcos High School in Goleta, north of Santa Barbara, was Blanche Tobin, 67.

Tobin is a volunteer Red Cross worker, but this morning she was among the 125 people needing comfort.

"I was able to grab some family photos and a couple of pictures of my grandmother," she said, sitting forlornly on a metal folding chair, fidgeting with her keys and fighting back tears.

"A neighbor called to say my house is gone. It's just a house, an old one.

"We had it 44 years. I can't stop thinking about my grandmother's cherry wood bedroom set. It was such a lovely set."

She seemed to be in shock; she could not even remember what she was watching on television when she evacuated on Thursday evening.

-- Louis Sagahun in Goleta