BrandSource Member Battles Oregon Wildfires

By Allyssa Baird, YSN

Jay and Kristin Wilson purchased an old Western Auto store in Baker City, Ore. in 2017. They renamed it Appliances & More, and two years later joined BrandSource.

Besides co-owning the business and performing his own product repairs, Jay served as a paramedic for 14 years and as a firefighter for nearly two decades.

That experience proved invaluable this season when record wildfires ravaged the West Coast. As a volunteer for the local North Powder Rural Fire Protection District, he received a call last month from his fire chief and in less than an hour said goodbye to Kristin and his four young children and set off to battle the blazes in Western Oregon.

Jay with his wife, Kristin, and children, Jarin, 11, Kinley, 9, Jett, 7, and Jaxin, 4.

Jay fought three separate fires during this two-week deployment, working days and nights to save lives and property. Despite his team’s best efforts, he saw many houses burn to the ground and viewed vast swaths of devastation.

Although the days were long and the work difficult and dangerous, Wilson, a double amputee, was grateful to Kristin and the staff at Appliances & More for holding down the fort, which freed him up to help those in need.

“We live in the best community,” Kristin told YSN. “Our customers were very understanding and supportive while Jay was out, and our staff was amazing in helping where needed. We all have pretty big shoes to fill, but we all worked together and accomplished great things in his absence.”

Jay, who also survived a car crash after being hit by a drunken driver last year, returned safely from the fires. “We are grateful to have him back,” Kristin said. “He was truly missed.”

BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, mattress, furniture and CE dealers.