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Paradise Strong, Love Strong

Randi Hall and Jonathan Deitrick love sparked after the Camp Fire. Now months later they're expecting their first child together.

Posted: Feb 22, 2019 12:17 PM

PARADISE, Calif - On Valentine's Day we traditionally see plenty of flower bouquets, heart-shaped cards, and boxes of chocolates.

There are also plenty of stories of couples overcoming hardship to build enduring love.

For one couple their love story is that and more… it’s paradise strong.

"If it wasn't for the fire who would have known if he would have ever mentioned that he liked me," said Randi Hall. 

It all began the horrific morning of November 8th.

Hall grabbed her daughter and mother and like thousands of others got out of Paradise!!

"I mean I was terrified my car was filled with smoke. I didn't know if I should hold my baby and let go or just kind of try and hold on," said Hall.

She adds she found a moment of strength, grabbed an essential oil, and made three crosses one on her arm, one on her daughter's forehead and one on her mothers.

A moment later, she spotted a long-time friend - Jonathan.

"Then seeing her and helping her calm down really helped me calm down," said Jonathan Deitrick. 

The group then proceeded to evacuate and meet down the hill.

Once knowing everyone was ok they said goodbye.

But then, three days later, a Facebook message.

"I was kind of hesitant because I was still really fragile at the moment," said Hall, " I didn't know who I wanted to see, what I wanted to do, I just wanted to be with my baby. He said come down and see me and it's a good thing I did because I haven't left."

In the aftermath of the fire… a first date.

"Actually our unplanned first date we went to Denny's because it was in the same parking lot as our motel," said Hall. 

Now three months out from the flames and devastation, the couple has moved into a trailer in Biggs with Randi's six-year-old daughter and dog.

They've celebrated birthdays, Christmas, New Years and a blessing for 2019.

A little one on the way!

"We are going to go with the nickname Phoenix because it is rising from the ashes because if it wasn't for the fire who knows if he would ever mention that he actually liked me," said Hall. 

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