Fire captain receives outpouring support after losing home

A Fire Captain from Berry Creek who lost his home while battling The Bear Fire received a free trailer from the organization 'Emergency RV.'

Posted: Sep 21, 2020 6:58 PM
Updated: Sep 21, 2020 7:57 PM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - A firefighter from Berry Creek lost everything while battling the Bear Fire.

But he's not letting that keep him from protecting his community.

Reed Rankin, former Berry Creek Fire Chief who is now a Captain, described the scene as the fire erupted through his town a couple of weeks ago. "The fire was on us constantly, it was chasing us down the hill and we we kept getting people out."

Captain Rankin, who was on the frontlines as flames ripped through Berry Creek, says "Everthing was lighting up, we were evacuating, we got a lot of people out and just started doing our job."

As he was working to save lives and protect people's homes, he found out his house did not make it. "Everything I ever had and owned was gone."

But even after losing everything, Rankin hasn't stopped battling the fire and helping others.

"I've been up there everyday, I've been working there everyday on the fire line, protecting all of the structures that are left."

After hearing Rankin's story, the organization "Emergency RV", which was founded by James "Woody" Faircloth, came to the rescue, with a place for him to live.

They gifted him a free trailer on Sunday, which Rankin will live in temporarily. 

Rankin says he's thankful for everyone who’s pitching in to help not only him but his entire community.

Community members have also started a GoFundMe Page to help Rankin. 

"Just hang in there, once people start coming up I'm going to be up there for them, as soon as they come up to check out what they have and don't have. I'll be there for them."

Rankin says he and his family have plans to rebuild in Berry Creek as soon as they can.

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