California restaurant owner ignores evacuation order, serves meals to first responders

A California restaurant owner served meals to more than 1,000 first responders fighting wildfires after ignoring an evacuation order.

Marco Gonzalez, owner of Tavern 101 Grill & Tap House, said he and his staff felt compelled to do all they could, according to CNN.


"I just thought they needed to eat," Gonzalez said. "[Some firefighters] go for days without having a warm meal."

Gonzalez, who was given permission by authorities to stay behind after initially ignoring the evacuation order, said he is doing whatever he can to help as his community is displaced by the raging wildfires.

"I told my people, I told them I wanted to open just to be here for police, firefighters and first responders," Gonzalez told CNN. "We weren't able to get any deliveries into the restaurant, so I'll go out and buy whatever I can."

Gonzalez originally began cooking meals with four staff on Friday, but the operation has grown to include helping customers as well.

Gonzalez’s sister-in-law started a Venmo account in support of the efforts. The account had received more than $45,000 in donations in just three days.

As of Monday, the Woolsey fire in Southern California had spread to more than 91,000 acres and

The Woolsey fire has claimed two lives and 48 people have died in the Camp Fire in Northern California.