Border Fire: Community meeting for impacted residents - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Border Fire: Community meeting for impacted residents

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Cal Fire held a community meeting Thursday night for residents affected by the Border Fire.

During the meeting, residents praised the firefighters efforts, but voiced concerns about a local store that may have taken advantage of residents during the disaster.

County Supervisor Dianne Jacob said she has handed over complaints to the district attorney about suspected gouging at the Potrero General Store.

"Anyone that tries to price gouge during a disaster is really in for a big surprise," said Jacob.

Despite evacuations lifted, Cal Fire encourages people to be cautious and remain with family outside the fire perimeter.

The American Red Cross provided shelter for one more night at Los Coches Creek Middle School.

Since the fire began on Sunday, 117 people stayed overnight.

Another debrief is expected to take place, but a date has not been set.

The owner of Potrero General Store sent CBS News 8 a statement via email that states in part: 

The store stayed open during the fire and an employee was able to help and serve the community during that time.  There was no communication between us and our employee due to the power outage/ phone line/ internet for quite some time.  We have been serving this community for a long time and our prices have been the same in the past and continuing on.  This is a small convenient market that is about 45 miles away from the city limit.  We have given over $3,000 worth of merchandise to the local community based on them coming back and repaying us due to the lack of power outage and communication services. As soon as I was aware of the situation, I immediately contacted the office of Diane Jacob and explained our situation and our side of the story. 

I also want to add that during the wildfire, we were struggling to keep the business open for the community while the power went out.  We were shocked to find out that this allegation was made against us (a small family business) before allowing us to explain what we were going through during this difficult time as well. 

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