LOS ANGELES - It’s been nearly two years since the deadly Woolsey Fire destroyed more than 1,600 homes and burned nearly 100,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
Among the homes lost was that of the Ladesich’s.
“The winds were 70 mph,” Rob Ladesich remembers that fateful November day in 2018.
“Fifteen minutes later, the house was in flames,” Rob’s wife, Alex Aspron Ladesich, says as she fights back tears.
Those flames left this couple, along with their now two teenage boys, homeless.
And that brings us to the organization that the Ladesich’s credit for saving this family of four: The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu.
READ THE FULL REPORT: County of Los Angeles: After Action Review of the Woolsey Fire Incident
In an ironic twist of fate, it’s a club that Alex once volunteered for.
“I was a volunteer helping the families, and then we were the family,” Alex said.
What many people don't realize is this club in Malibu is so much more than a youth recreation center.
“They had food, blankets and shoes,” Alex recalls.
Club CEO Kasey Earnest says after Woolsey, the club provided 700 families, including the Ladesichs, with a fire relief emergency grant; money that helped this family of four move into their current Thousand Oaks apartment.
“We triage essential services for families,” says Earnest.
Beyond the food and shelter, it's the club's wellness center that, in a year that has left Alex out of work, is proving essential for this family's well-being. The Ladesichs have taken full advantage of the center’s free academic care, as well as individual and family counseling.
While life is still far from perfect, Rob and Alex say it's better than they could have ever imagined with the credit going to their newfound club family.
“It was just incredible to be able to return the support to Alex and her family,” says Earnest.