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6 months after the Camp Fire: Rebuilding Paradise

Six months after the Camp Fire, Action News Now reporter Laura Eng spoke with the family who got Paradise's first rebuilding permit.

Posted: May. 6, 2019 9:11 PM
Updated: May. 9, 2019 1:35 PM

PARADISE, Calif. -- Six months after the Camp Fire, Action News Now reporter Laura Eng spoke with the family who got Paradise's first rebuilding permit.

This week marks six months since the Camp Fire burned Paradise, Magalia and Concow.

Now, six months later, the first families are just beginning to rebuild their homes.

Jason, Meagann and Grace Buzzard family lost their Ramada Lane house in the Camp Fire, but the family says rebuilding and moving back to Paradise was never a question.

Shovel, by shovel, the Buzzards did not give up hope after the Camp Fire destroyed their home.

"There was never a question we were going to come back, it's just what has to happen, what needs to happen," said Jason Buzzard.

They had only been living in the home for two years. When Action News Now first caught up with the Buzzards a few months ago, we looked back at old photos, including one their neighbor shot of their house the day the fire erupted.

"We left at 8:30 in the morning, he stayed. So that's the last known picture we have of our house," said Jason Buzzard.

In March, the Buzzards got the very first rebuild permit in Paradise. Two months later, the Buzzards broke ground on their new home.

"When I saw we were breaking ground, I teared up a bit, it's just exciting, we're moving along," said Meagann Buzzard.

John Hornback of Ridge Construction is the Buzzard's contractor.

"People want to move back and we want them to move back, that's part of the rebuild feeling of Paradise," said Hornback.

He has about a dozen other housing projects in the works.

"You know they're gonna be coming at us, probably more than what we can handle, more than anybody is gonna be able to handle here. Limited resources, a lot of people we worked with left town," said Hornback.

As of April 30th, the Town of Paradise has received 60 applications to rebuild. So far the town has given out about 12 rebuild permits.

We took a drive with Jason Buzzard around his decimated neighborhood.

"Due to how many homes were destroyed, there are going to be pockets of Paradise that aren't going to progress probably as fast as some people want or as fast as some people think it should. But it's all gonna get cleaned up eventually, I'm not worried about it, it'll get done when it gets done," said Jason Buzzard.

And he says Paradise is making great strides.

"This is a house that's really taken off. I think their foundation was okay so they put up their walls very fast. And that's exactly what we want to see throughout town is houses like that," said Jason Buzzard.

Seeing rubble turn into a standing home is an attitude-adjuster, he says.

"When you see rubble like this on the side of the road I think it can kind of depress people still, but seeing a house almost built is a huge positive step in the right direction," said Jason Buzzard.

The Buzzards said they hope they can move into their new home by December. 

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