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The Carlton Complex fire may have torn homes and lives apart, but it's also bringing the community of Pateros together. At the distribution center where items are being donated and then handed out to families that lost their homes, several of the fire victims are now volunteering.

Among them is George Pearson, born and raised in another community recently hit hard by disaster.

I grew up in Oso, he said, then choked up as he described seeing a group of firefighters from Oso and Darrington deliver a load of donations to Pateros.

Pearson not only lost his home in the fires, the home he and his soon-to-be-wife were planning to move into was also destroyed.

The very next day, he began cooking three meals a day at the distribution center, for up to a hundred people at a time - families who lost their homes, volunteers, firefighters - anyone in need of a warm meal.

We're here to help people, yes, said his fiance, Carol Hamshaw. Nothing's going to stop us.

She said it's just what you do when you call Pateros hometown.

Hamshaw's wedding dress was also destroyed in the fires, but that's not stopping the couple from getting married. They say the wedding will still happen on September 20th in Pateros.

Pearson says he wouldn't want to get married anywhere else.

She wanted to postpone it, move it somewhere else, and I said no we're having it here like we planned, he said.

Pearson and Hamshaw are just two of several fire victims now spending their time volunteering, helping the community get back on its feet.

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