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Local hero moves back to the Ridge

A Paradise man who saved dozens of people from the Camp Fire, then started a non-profit, is moving back to the Ridge on a day that has multiple meanings for his family.

Posted: Feb 14, 2021 6:55 PM
Updated: Feb 15, 2021 9:18 AM

PARADISE, Calif. - A Paradise man who saved dozens of people from the Camp Fire, then started a non-profit, is moving back to the Ridge on a day that has multiple meanings for his family.

Action News Now spoke to Stephen Murray and his wife, who just moved back up to Paradise in a trailer. They said Valentine's Day is a special day for them.

"Valentine's Day 2018, I told him I was pregnant with our daughter and I made a big deal out of it, gave him a little box with our positive pregnancy test -- and today, on Valentine's Day, we are moving back to Paradise," said Audrey Murray. 

Audrey and Stephen Murray lost their home about eight months later in the Camp Fire.

"So I worked at Apple Tree Village Mobile Home Park. It was a large -- the biggest mobile home park in Paradise -- so the morning of the fire I knew a lot of the seniors would not know what was going on," explained Stephen Murray.

That's when he rushed home to make sure his family was safe but then went right back to work to help save residents of the park. Since then Stephen Murray started a non-profit called the Coral Apple Foundation.

"With that, I have been able to bring in a lot of trailers for the community, and not just here, but for the Bear Fire that happened this year," he added.

Murray still runs his non-profit but says he took another full-time job too. Then, of course, he has his family, which keeps him pretty busy.

The couple explained despite the fire they still decided to go through with their wedding plans back in May of 2019. That is when they bought a new property in Paradise.

"The day we closed escrow we came to this circle of trees and we sat down... and I gave him this big long speech about life and I love... and got really close to him while he was sitting... and was like, we are going to have another one!" said Audrey Murray.

So for Valentine's day this year, in 2021, they were able to move back to Paradise.  "There is a lot of love up here," said Stephen Murray. "My heart belongs up here, her heart belongs here. Why not come back up on Valentine's Day, to the place we love?" Stephen Murray explained.

Murray says they are planning to have their home built just in time for his wife to have their second child in May. They are planning a home birth, in a brand new home, made with sweat and tears and lots of love.

Murray and his wife recently rescued animals from another Camp Fire survivor who was moving out of the area. Being a rescuer and a hero just seems to be part of his DNA.

Many in the community have been helped by Stephen Murray, and are happy to see that he will soon be in a real home since he has provided so much for others, especially the elderly and most vulnerable populations.

If you want to help the Murray's you can click HERE

If you want to check out Murray's non-profit you can click HERE.

Here are articles to show just some of what Stephen Murray has done:

Action News Now - Feb. 5, 2019 - Man brings supplies to those stuck in foothill snow (Click HERE). 

Action News Now - Apr. 21, 2019 - 10,000 Easter eggs found their way to Bille Park in Paradise (Click HERE).

Action News Now - May 18, 2019 - 3,000 Camp Fire survivors showed up for food, gift cards and camaraderie (Click HERE).

Action News Now - Jun. 17, 2019 - Local Paradise hero begins non-profit organization (Click HERE).

KCRA - Nov. 6, 2019 - Paradise man devotes life to helping others after saving 281 from Camp Fire (Click HERE).

Action News Now - Jan. 11, 2020 - Camp Fire survivors gather for protest (Click HERE).

Action News Now - Dec. 8, 2020 - Heavy winds topped over trees on the Ridge; 1 home destroyed (Click HERE).

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