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In the fire zone, watching and waiting from lawn chairs

September 1, 2009 | 12:11 pm


At the corner of Sevenhills Drive and Terecita Road in Tujunga, Al Lopez and Bob Seward sat in lawn chairs this morning, watching the news on a portable TV.

Lopez said his trailer parked in the driveway is packed and ready to go whenever necessary.

“We’re waiting to see what happens,” Lopez said.

His daughter, Madi, 8, rushed out with a plate of coconut and chocolate chip cookies for her dad and Seward, their neighbor.

Last year, Lopez, a law enforcement investigator, worked during the Sayre fire. But this time, he took the day off to be home with his family. He said that saving his home did not take priority over saving his family members' lives. "The house is replaceable,” he said.

Although his neighborhood of 18 years was evacuated Monday, Lopez chose to stay behind, saying he could help extinguish embers and offer assistance to neighbors. He said he has a 40-gallon pool in his backyard from which firefighters could draw water.

Seward said he evacuated Monday night because his wife was nervous, but he returned to his home on Owens Place, along Terecita Road, early this morning. Both men said they could not sleep.

“You don’t know whether to go or whether to stay,” Seward said.

-- Ann Simmons in Tujunga 

Kathy Unger, center, her family and friends watch the ongoing battle to contain a wildfire near Sunland as the sun sets on Sunday evening. Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

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