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La Pine-area family who lost home in Darlene Fire ‘overwhelmed’ by support; couple donates truck

'The entire town is a family, and that's how we want to treat it'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Ronald Tucker and his wife, Ruby, pulled up to a La Pine home Thursday, thinking they were helping their son-in-law run errands -- but they ended up leaving with a new pickup truck.

As NewsChannel 21 reported a few days ago, the Tuckers had lost everything in the Darlene Fire. And even with the welcome support they've received since the tragic loss, they were completely taken by surprise when a couple they had never met before donated the pickup to them.

"I'm not a word guy I'm … overwhelmed. This is surreal,” Tucker said. 

Nearly all of his cars, trucks and tractors were destroyed in the fire. 

"Our Fords are tough, by the way -- but they're all pretty black right now,” Tucker said with a chuckle.

The Ford Ranger was donated to the Tuckers by David and Sandie Eisenlohr.

They told me they had no use for the truck and were either going to donate it or sell it, but then they saw Tucker's story and knew exactly what to do.

"It feels great,” Eisenlohr said. “The tears were special."

The Eisenlohrs moved to La Pine  just four months ago, but already feel a strong sense of community.

"Well, it's also being a good neighbor,” Eisenlohr said. “The whole idea here is…this is La Pine and this is a family. The entire town is a family, and that's how we want to treat it."

Daniel Perrine, Tucker's son-in-law, helped organize the meet-up, along with a GoFundMe page.

He said they have received clothes, towels, food, money, an RV -- and now a truck.

And he knows Ron and Ruby are as deserving as anyone.

"I mean, Ron would literally give the shirt off his back to a guy that's walking down the street that was cold, that he didn't even know," Perrine said.

He said while this situation is a tragedy, it has shown him the good in people.

"There's a lot of good people in this world, and I feel now that most people are really good, decent people," Perrine said. "It's just been overwhelming, the amount of support and the amount of people that have come together for my in-laws." 

Central Oregon / Fire / Fire Alert / Local News / News / Top Stories / video - DO NOT USE
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Noah Chast

Noah Chast is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Noah here.

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