Man from Berry Creek returns to find home destroyed

A man from Berry Creek returned to town nearly a month after evacuating, to find his home destroyed by the Bear Fire.

Posted: Sep 30, 2020 8:36 PM
Updated: Sep 30, 2020 9:02 PM

BERRY CREEK, Calif. -  Many people are seeing the devastation from the Bear Fire, also known as the North Complex West Zone, for the first time since the flames burned through the town of Berry Creek.

Action News Now reporter Kristian Lopez spoke with one man who returned to find his home was gone nearly a month after he was forced to evacuate.

Dennis Hillier, has lived in Berry Creek for 48 years. This week he returned home for the first time since evacuating because of the fire to find that his house was completley destoryed by the flames.

"It's just tough. You look around and I have nothing," he said.

Hillier was sifting through the remains of his home Wednesday afternoon, looking for anything he could find.

Most of his home and vehicles were completely burned by the fire three weeks ago.  

His parents house which once stood right next door was also destroyed by the flames.

He tells Action News Now that it'll be a long road to rebuilding but he is hoping to return to his hometown.

"Appreciate what you have, when its gone you just have memories," he said.

Hillier says he is going to continue sifting through his property because he really hoping to find a gold chain that his late grandmother gifted him. 

Despite losing everything, he says he will hold on to the memories and hopes to rebuild in Berry Creek.

"I have my life and that's the important part," he said. 

A total of 2,342 structures have been destroyed and 113 have been damaged in the Bear Fire.

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