Two homeless women in northern California have returned a large sum of money that belongs to a man whose van was destroyed in a fire.
The women were among four homeless people who searched the debris Wednesday near San Jose International Airport to salvage what they could for a neighbor identified as George, Fox San Francisco reported.
During the fire, two men rescued George’s two dogs and the women found an unspecified sum of money, thousands of dollars, that had been hidden in the vehicle.
“That evening, before I found the money, he was saying that I had just lost the money I was saving to go home and visit my family. I haven’t seen my family for 10 years. He needs to see his family,” Gretchen Pace told the outlet. “What saved money was this.”
A friend told the news station that George had been hospitalized with an unrelated illness, but was grateful for what his neighbors had done.
Kimberly Williams, who is also homeless, said she found another bundle of cash in a tin can among the rubble.
“It was burned at the end but the middle was fully visible,” she said. “The serial number and everything was intact. I don’t know how much it was. I didn’t count it. I just got all excited about it.
Both women said they returned the money to George.
“I just gave it to him and he started crying and said oh my god why did you do that? I said it was your money. It’s not mine,” Pace said. “He offered me some money. I said no. Give me enough for a pack of cigarettes. He’s fine, let me take you out to dinner. I said coffee and a donut is enough for me.
New York Post