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Creek Fire: Clovis High students, local contractor make tiny home for evacuees

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) — Thousands of families are in need of temporary housing due to the nearby Creek Fire.

On Thursday, Clovis High School instructor Jay Eichmann jumped into action and completed the unfinished tiny house trailer he and his students worked on for the last three years.

Due to COVID-19, the student project paused in the Spring. Local contractor, JZ Construction of Clovis, helped finish the trailer to make it available to families or first responders displaced by the wildfires.

“We can bring this together, we can get people in the community to help,” Eichmann said. “We can finish this project and make it available for people who need a place to go.”

Eichmann taught at the high school for 13 years. This year, he said, the tiny house project is special. “This is someone’s answered prayer,” he said.

According to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, the Creek Fire has forced 45,000 families from Fresno and Madera Counties to evacuate their homes.

“Someone out there is in distress and this could be of great help to them,” Eichmann said.

The four-year Clovis High Construction Careers Pathway program gave students opportunities to learn basic construction, basic metal fabrication and welding, computer aided drafting and 3D modeling, and more.
The goal of the pathway program is to train students for a career in the construction industry.

But with the Creek Fire, now these students are learning about giving. “So it’s great that the students are going to be able to see that work that they put into last year will not only be used but it will be a great relief to somebody,” Eichmann said.

High school senior Jacob Moraga is excited about helping his community.

“Honestly it feels amazing,” Moraga said. “We put our heart and our soul into this house and for us to be able to be able to benefit a family up there helps us know that this house is going to a good cause.”

Aryel Chavez is another high school senior in the construction class who values the lessons taught.

She said, “It’s more hands on and I was excited to go this class… I mean the only thing getting me up was just ‘Ah man I’m so excited to go to construction and work on this house’.”

Approximately 250 students participate in one of the many classes offered in the Clovis High pathway.

Graduates of the program have a direct entryway into the industry, apprenticeship programs and advanced construction and engineering degree programs at Fresno State and Fresno City College.

If you are a family in need or if you would like to make a charitable donation to the schools’ Cougar Foundation towards material cost, you can contact Jay Eichmann at [email protected]

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