For those who made Paradise, CA their home, the smoke may have cleared from the November 8, 2018 Camp Fire, but the struggle rages on. From insurance claims to lawsuit filings, from clearing land to healing from emotional pain, each day may seem like it poses new obstacles that need to be overcome. Here are a few stories that Camp Fire survivors have shared with us:
“I lost my home and am staying with a friend in a small mobile home with my dog and 2 cats. Insurance will not allow me to replace my 3 bedroom 2 bath home and I am fearful what will happen to us.” – Cherie B.
“I was woken up on November 8, 2018 to the sound of an explosion not far from my home. I sat up and knew we were in trouble because when I first woke up to tend to all of our animals, it had been a beautiful, sunny day. When I ran outside, I was surrounded by swirling ash and smoke. Knowing I had little time, I yelled to my husband to let the chickens out and chase them out of their run. I looked everywhere for our cat but he was long gone. After throwing blankets, dogs, water and not much else into our car, we rushed to the neighbors’ houses to make sure they had gotten out. We then joined the beep and creep traffic that took us through the worst kind of hell! I could smell the tires melting! By some crazy twist of fate we made it out, driving straight to our loved ones to hug them tight. We found out 3 days later that our house and all the outbuildings were completely destroyed. Everything was gone, everything! We spent the next few months moving around with a majority of that time in hotels. I can never replace all that I’ve lost. My artwork, wedding dress and photos, my wedding rings, etc. But we are alive and the health problems related to smoke inhalation are finally gone. We are currently looking for acreage to start our new lives on. So far no luck, but we are still hopeful that we will find something affordable.” – Sunny M.
“I lived on Edgewood Lane in Paradise for the last 9 years. Unfortunately, I did not have renters insurance when our house and everything we owned was incinerated in the fire. We barely escaped with our 2 cats and dog. It’s a miracle we survived the fire. I am immensely grateful to be alive. Despite the fact we are now homeless, I am thankful and humbled by the love and support we have received from friends and family.” – Josh B.
“I’m now living with my daughter in Santa Rosa and we’re sleeping on a mattress in a garage with 3 cats. I’m looking for a 2 bedroom house so my cats in the garage can see sunlight which they haven’t seen in 3 months. I want to find a house to rent, rent to own, or maybe to buy. I’m depressed, have anxiety, and feel stressed all the time.” – Christine F.
“I was lucky to get out of the Camp Fire with my 8 year old and his cat. We lost our home, everything in it, and all my work. FEMA denied my application because our home was insured. The homeowner filed for FEMA and now claims we never rented or lived there for the last few years. I have drained my savings to get us an apartment in Chico, cloths, food, the basics. My car was damaged while we drove through the fire and I have a $1,000 deductible on my car insurance.” – Ellen B.
“Scared. Running from fire. Lived in hotel rooms. Insurance no go because our house is still standing even though it’s unusable land. No water, sewer, etc. Lots of contamination. So now no money.” – Carole F.
The Battle’s Not Over
If you lived in Paradise and survived the fire, then you know the battle’s not over. Some survivors are playing phone tag with insurance companies trying to get what they rightly deserve to rebuild or start over. Others are debating whether to file a claim against PG&E since the company has filed for bankruptcy; is it worth the effort?
At Periscope Group, we want to help you with both of these issues. Our call center manager, Laura, lost her family home in the Camp Fire and we have talked to many people who have been devastated by this tragic event. We care about your well-being and are invested in seeing Paradise rebuilt. We can assist you with your insurance company paperwork and we’ll help you file a claim against PG&E at no initial cost to you.
There’s a long journey ahead towards rebuilding, but you’re not alone. Call us today at (800) 511-3838 and please post your story on our Facebook page. We want to hear your story in your own words.