Spark of gratitude from community

Graniterock’s assistance to firefighters sparks gratitude from Aromas community

Posted by Shanna Crigger on Nov 15, 2023

Quick action by Wilson Quarry haul truck drivers helped Cal Fire firefighters get a handle on a blaze that threatened the Quarry and nearby properties.

The blaze started on a neighboring property – a lumber storage yard on Quarry Road.

Tracy Rego and Robert Ramirez were awakened around 3:15 a.m. Oct. 31 with a phone call from Quarry Manager Nick Wenzel, asking if they could help Cal Fire with additional resources.

By 4 a.m., they had loaded up Graniterock water trucks to assist firefighters on the frontline.

Combined, they provided about 17,000 gallons of water from the Quarry pond, which proved to be critical for containing the blaze to the neighboring eucalyptus lumber yard that lies adjacent to Quarry property.

“When I showed up on scene, they were running low on water and were grateful to have an additional supply,” Tracy said. “I hooked up to their engine and stayed there until 4 p.m. Robert went back and forth all day bringing them water.”

In addition, primary operations manager Jeremy Hunzie spent most of the day directing traffic on Quarry Road.

Tracy and Robert’s contributions were noted in the Cal Fire press release and in a letter Aromas School Principal Heather Howell sent to the San Juan Unified School District’s board of trustees.

Heather praised Graniterock for how the Company assisted fire fighters and donated generously to the Go Fund Me that was set up to help an Aromas family who lost their home in the blaze.

Land manager Pat Mapelli led Graniterock in providing temporary housing for the family.

With Aromas School canceled on Halloween due to fire-related air quality concerns, Graniterock team members rallied to support a post-Halloween Trunk or Treat celebration for the students later that week.

“We would also like to thank our generous community partner Graniterock,” Heather wrote trustees. “They have assisted the family of our Aromas School student with securing housing and they made a generous donation to the Go Fund Me effort.”

Longtime Aromas resident Voyoko Haneta, whose family owns Aromas Nursery, visited the Quarry to express her gratitude for Graniterock’s help in protecting her family’s property. She brought Tracy and Robert each a box of See’s Candies.

Thankfully, the fire, which destroyed two homes and more than five acres, did not reach the Wilson Quarry.

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