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Acting to help firefighters

October 05, 2005|By: Tsolik Kazandjian

Firefighters have a blaze that consumed 1,100 acres of brush over

four days in the Verdugo Mountains, but not without some help from

local businesses and nonprofits, who were called upon to help

authorities as they worked around the clock fighting fire. "They're

supplying food, sandwiches, anything we need all over the place,"

said Kirk Wishart, an engineer with Burbank Fire, adding that

Wienerschnitzel even hauled a trailer to a firefighter camp to feed

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personnel.

Alan Arzoian, owner of Handy Market on Magnolia Boulevard, reacted

quickly when the call was first put out by the city that the

firefighters needed food while on the job for hours.

"A wife of a firefighter called and said they're doing a lot of

work but don't have anything to grab and eat. All they have is water

and Gatorade, and they wanted sodas," Arzoian said. "They called us

at five o'clock in the evening, and we had 300 bag lunches, including

a gourmet handmade sandwich, a bag of chips, a piece of fruit and a

drink, all ready in 50 minutes. I got my whole crew together. I was

surprised how fast we did it."

Businesses called upon to help -- and which city officials intend

to reimburse for goods received -- included Coral Cafe, the Battery

Hut, Baja Fresh and Tony Roma's.

Battery Hut on Glenoaks Boulevard, for example, supplied fire

personnel with 10,000 double-A batteries, said Rich Baenen, the

city's disaster preparedness coordinator.

The Fire Department was planning on formally thanking business

owners for their efforts in helping fire responders, Wishart said.

"What we're doing is little compared to what the firefighters are

doing," Arzoian said.

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