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YORBA LINDA, Calif. — Evangelical Christian Credit Union President/CEO Mark Holbrook’s home was spared from the recent Los Angeles-area fires due to sheer determination and dumb luck.Holbrook and his wife were in the Dominican Republic at the time, visiting their daughter, Rebekah, a teacher at a missionary-run orphanage. But, thanks to heroic action by Holbrook’s son Matthew and son-in-law Kevan, the home was saved. However, four homes on the block, including two adjacent homes, were among the 188 Yorba Linda homes lost in the blaze. According to Holbrook, two California Highway Patrol officers were checking his street because one of the officer’s parents lived there. When they saw the officer’s family’s home was safe, the two began hosing down the Holbrook roof because the home next door was on fire. Holbrook’s son and son-in-law arrived soon after and joined in, as did two Brea City police officers.The neighborhood had been evacuated, and police weren’t allowing anyone into the area, so it was fortunate Holbrook’s family members were able to reach the home. Matthew Holbrook ran through the burning neighborhood to reach it, dashing through dry-brush horse trails and ducking through backyards. Son-in-law Kevan is a deputy sheriff and was able to use his badge to enter the secured area.In addition to hosing down the property, the men also grabbed personal items, records, clothing and other important belongings in preparation for what they thought was unavoidable destruction. In a desperate scene, Matthew tried to start Mark’s beloved 1956 T-bird, a family heirloom. The car’s safe rescue required a hastily popped hood, reconnected battery and instruction from Dad via international cell phone call.As the two men made their escape, son-in-law Kevan remarked that the property didn’t have a chance and would burn “unless God sends His angels.”Later that day, safely at Matthew’s home, the two flipped on the TV news to see the Holbrook home with two strangers on the roof hosing down the home again. Matthew and Kevan returned to the home, and along with firefighters, the home’s automatic sprinkler system saved the home, despite choking smoke, searing flames and destruction all around them.Los Angeles’ Channel 9 news had a helicopter circling overhead for more than an hour, filming the burning neighborhood and sometimes panning to the men on the Holbrook roof.“My brother, Steve, was watching the station and kept up a play-by-play with us on another cell phone,” Holbrook said.The commentary included footage of one man losing his footing and sliding down the Holbrook’s roof, catching himself just at the edge. The station also reported someone yelling for help to protect a family home; most likely, Kevan.“Cindy, Rebekah and I, almost 3,000 miles away, had two or three cell phones going almost constantly,” Holbrook said.“In the midst of all this, I was on the phone with Alan Weisenberger and Scott Vandeventer checking on ECCU staff and trying to make sure our ECCU facility was okay.”–[email protected]

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