Cottonwood arson victims speak out


COTTONWOOD, Calif. - A Cottonwood family is speaking Monday out after losing their home of more than two decades to an admitted arsonist.

The Westphal family has been staying in a hotel with the help of the Red Cross after 50-year-old Timothy Hawkins set three fires in the Cottonwood area and tried to set a fourth last Thursday.

Tina Westphal said she saw Hawkins that day. Westphal was on her way to the doctors when she said she say Hawkins walk by. Little did she know that, that same man would set her home on fire.

"Oh if I could've gotten my hands on him I would have probably killed him cause he took everything from us," said Westphal. " He went down the road and went into what we call the crack shack."

She said she didn't think anything of it but as she was at the doctors she received a phone call from one of her daughters telling her their home of 24 years was on fire.

" Panic ... God, what are we gonna do?" Westphal said.

The fire took everything from her and her two daughters. "The girl's dad just died three years ago unexpectedly and this is all we had, its like everything of him is gone now," Westphal said.

Pictures, clothing and special momentous were among some of the things lost. Leaving the family with nothing but the clothes on their back.

"Why our house?" said Ashley Westphal. "I didn't say anything to you, why did you do this to my house? Things need to go back to the old west when they hung people for doing stuff like this."

The family said they are thankful for the help that the Red Cross has provided. Cindy Lu's in Cottonwood will also be taking donations to help the family.

Hawkins is currently in the Shasta County jail charged with felony arson.