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Camp Fire Survivor shares fireplace photographs

A Camp Fire survivor turned to photography to help work through his emotions after the fire. He documented 200 fireplaces still standing in the debris.

Posted: Nov 6, 2019 5:46 PM

Paradise, Calif. - A Camp Fire survivor turned to photography to help work through his emotions after the fire.
Like many others, Greg Wilson had to drive through flames to make it to safety and lost his home.

Wilson told Action News Now, "I'm still stressed. It's hard to believe it's been a year. A day doesn't go by that you don't have something you used to have that you wanted or needed. A lot of things you'll never replace."

After evacuees were finally allowed to return, Wilson said he was struck by the number of fireplaces still standing, when the homes they were in were destroyed.  He noticed their character and beauty, and the stories they told.  So, he traveled around documenting them with his camera.

 "When they finally allowed people back, and debris started being removed they were removing everything but the fireplaces initially. And I saw that ... having been in the building trade all those years ... they looked unique.  And there must be more than one. I found 200."

Wilson fled to Angel's Camp initially and thought he would never return.  But, he has since changed his mind.  He says Paradise is home, and he now plans to rebuild.

As for all those fireplace photos?  Wilson plans to donate them to the Paradise Gold Nugget Museum. The museum will have a permanent Camp Fire Exhibit when it reopens.

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