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An artistic thanks to Lake Tahoe firefighters

Store collects art, money to support Angora fire victims, firefighters
Dave Frank
Appeal Staff Writer
Trevor Clark/Nevada Appeal Kyle Cavner, 10, holds up a tile he painted Friday in thanks to the firefighters who battled the Angora fire in South Lake Tahoe.
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Kyle Cavner builds the body of a house with a squirt from a tube of “buck naked” tan paint. For the chimney of the building, he uses a stream of black.

He’ll write “thank you” to firefighters beside the house he’s drawn on a tile of pottery.

Once he’s done, the pottery store I Paint for Joy will glaze the piece, heat it in a kiln and add it to its collection. Store owner Joy Hartman is trying to get 200 of the tiles painted to give to the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department to thank them for their work during the Angora fire earlier this summer.

She is also asking $10 for each tile, which she will give to victims of the fire.

Hartman started looking for donations at the beginning of this month. She acknowledged she hasn’t talked to the fire department yet, but plans to put the tiles in a box, drive them to the fire department and, after briefly explaining what she did, tell them “here” and give them the tiles.

Polly Cavner, the mother of 10-year-old Kyle, said she’s painting a tile because she’s in the store frequently and had a friend whose home was threatened by the fire.

On the tile she was working on Friday, Cavner was drawing a flower. She said she’s going to write “firefighters save homes and hearts” beside it.

Cavner said she was shocked how fast the fire spread through the trees. “It’s just ‘phooo,’ and they’re gone.”

Hartman has collected about 20 tiles. She has several sitting out on a table in the store. One has a yellow firefighter’s hat, another has a violet and says “thanks.” She said she thought of the project because she has a lot of customers from South Lake Tahoe. The 200 tiles she has right now were donated from Daltile.

She also likes the murals of tiles she’s seen before. She said she hopes the firefighters hang the tiles outside so everyone can see them.

During the fire, churches, casinos and other businesses in Carson City offered to collect donations for fire victims. Organizers asked for items like water, canned food, toiletries, blankets, bedding and stuffed animals. The local Red Cross set up an evacuation site at Carson High School and some hotels reported a small increase in customers.

Hartman will be collecting tiles and money through the middle of August. Call 841-7044 for information.

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at dfrank@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.