Stories of devastation, survival in Paradise after Camp Fire

Byby Carlos Saucedo via KGO logo
Sunday, November 11, 2018
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"It was a big fire and it wanted to burn everything." Paradise residents are grappling with all that they lost after the Camp Fire destroyed their small Butte County town.

PARADISE, Calif. (KGO) -- Much of the town of Paradise remains blackened with ash and debris from the devastating Camp Fire.

More than 6,000 homes and businesses were destroyed. Many were still smoldering on Saturday.

RELATED: Eerie video shows burned, abandoned cars after thousands fled Butte County wildfire

"It was a big fire and it wanted to burn everything," said Kevin Jeys through tears. Jeys has called Paradise home for the last 10 years. He stayed behind to protect his house when flames ravaged his neighborhood Thursday morning.

Jeys considers himself one of the lucky ones since his house is still standing.

That was not the case for many of this neighbors.

RELATED: Teacher: Bus drivers evacuated students amid California fire

"All these places I used to go, people I used to know that are right down the street from me, it's all gone, it's all burned," Jeys lamented.

Without power and little to no cell reception in the area, it's been hard to reach anyone.

Many evacuates have been patiently waiting to get word of their properties.

RELATED: MAPS: A look at the Camp Fire in Butte County and other California fires

Today, we delivered the worst possible news to Marty Nelson.

He asked if we could go to his house on Crestview Drive. All that was left was his Volkswagen Jetta sitting on the driveway. The rest of the home property completely charred.

"I'm very, very upset about that. We had all our family belongings and everything inside of the home and we lost everything," Nelson said.

RELATED: Mayor of Paradise, Calif., surveys devastation left by Camp Fire

The sense of knowing has brought some closure.

"It was kind of a relief in some way and now...our family can kind of go on with our lives," he said.

In the midst of all the destruction, there are signs of hope.

Firefighters rescued an injured cat along Skyway. They're hoping to reunite the cat with its owners.

See more stories, photos and videos on the Camp Fire in Butte County.