Two homeless women in Northern California have returned large amounts of cash to a man whose van caught fire.
The women were among four homeless people wading through the rubble near San Jose International Airport on Wednesday to salvage what they could for a neighbor identified as George, Fox San Francisco reported.
During the fire, the two men rescued George’s two dogs and the women found an unspecified amount of cash, thousands of dollars, hidden in the car.
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“That night, before I found the money, she said I lost my money that I was saving to go home and see my family. I haven’t seen my family in 10 years. She needs to see her family,” Gretchen Pace told the news outlet. “What saved this money.”
A friend told the news station that George was hospitalized for an unrelated illness but was grateful for what his neighbors did.
Kimberly Williams, who is homeless, said she found another bundle of cash in a tin can in the debris.
“It was burnt towards the end but the middle was fully visible,” he said. “The serial number and everything was intact. I don’t know how much it was. I didn’t count it. I got all excited about it.”
Both women said they returned the money to George.
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“I just handed it to him and he started crying and said oh my God why did you do that? I said it’s your money. It’s not mine,” Pace said. “He gave me money. I said no. Give me enough for a pack of cigarettes. He goes, let me take you out for dinner. I said coffee and a donut would be enough for me.”