Philip Scorza and a firefighter
survey the wreckage of Scorza's cabin at the end of Romero Canyon Road on Tuesday, a day after
a wildfire consumed 2,183 acres of Castaic's Sloan Canyon.
Photo by Bryan Kneiding/The Signal
The Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society typically preserves the past for future generations, but after a devastating fire in Castaic on Monday, the organization is looking to help one of its own.
Canyon High School teacher and society board member Phil Scorza lost his home and everything he owned when the 2,183-acre Castaic fire reached his Romero Canyon property and burned the structure to the ground. Scorza, who had purchased the 80-year-old home just four months ago [Editor's note: The house was 39 years old], said he enjoyed the one-bedroom cabin and the 50-year-old oak trees on the property.
While Scorza was at work at Canyon High on the first day of school, the fire roared through the Castaic canyons and destroyed his property.
"We have set up a 'Phil Fund' to help out a good friend and a long-term board member of the society," said Society Treasurer Glen Rollins. "Phil was so happy with the house and he was doing a lot of remodeling. I am sure, besides his personal belongings, he lost a lot of school supplies."
Rollins, a real estate broker, helped Scorza purchase the Romero Canyon home, which was believed to have been built in the mid-1920s. Rollins said Scorza and his teen-age son Casey had just finished putting a new roof on the house and enclosing the existing porch, and they were adding a new veranda.
"Phil had just bought a $4,000 generator," Rollins said.
Scorza has been involved with the Historical Society for 10 years, and is in charge of preserving the organization's photographic archives.
In addition to teaching at Canyon High, Scorza teaches classes for the William S. Hart Union High School District's Regional Occupational Program, and he produces and hosts the "Points of Interest" program on public access Channel 20. Scorza has been working on a second volume of area history with students from Sierra Vista Junior High School.
Checks to help Scorza should be made payable to the SCV Historical Society, attn: Phil Fund, P.O. Box 221925, Newhall, CA 91322; or call Rollins at 510-0959.