Elderly Couple, 82 and 92, Planning to Rebuild Beloved Home Destroyed by California Wildfires

Lucy Marie
Lucy Marie

An elderly couple, whose home was severely damaged in the California wildfires, is already planning to rebuild despite the tragedy.

Marcella Shirk, 82, and her 92-year-old husband, James Shirk, have been living in their Malibu home for the past 42 years. On Friday, as the Woosley Fire began spreading, the pair packed up some of their most valuable items and headed away from the danger. 

The Woolsey Fire, which began Thursday, has burned over 90,000 acres and left two people dead.

“The winds were horrendous,” Marcella told InsideEdition.com. “We knew the way it was blowing so I started pulling things together. My granddaughter grabbed pictures.”

It was those pictures from decades ago that kept her from totally breaking down when she found out how badly their home had been damaged. The couple is currently staying with a friend in Santa Monica

“We lost everything,” Marcella said. 

Although the grandparents aren’t sure when they will be able to get back to their beloved home, they are positive they want to fix it up.

Marcella said she remembers when they first moved into the home with their children all those years ago.

“We loved it,” she said. “In those days it was lovely and rural."

A family friend and neighbor, who stayed behind when the Woosley Fire hit, has been helping to put out small fires that have been springing up around the Shirks' home as well. 

Their granddaughter, Lucy, also started a GoFundMe for the couple, which has raised nearly $7,000.

“We are a God-fearing family and we believe in a lot of prayer,” Shirk said. “We are going to rebuild the house.”

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