Rich Crist lost home in Paradise CA

34441260_1542163177564066_r.jpeg34441260_1542163206597747_r.jpeg34441260_1542163232166618_r.jpeg34441260_1542163256442461_r.jpegMy brother Richard Crist has lived in Paradise CA for about 16 years, but now it is Paradise Lost. He and his family lost their home in the so-called Camp Fire that started near Camp Creek Rd. on Thursday 11/8/18. My nephew, a freshman in high school, told me how Richard dropped hm off at school in the neighboring town of Chico that morning, when they spotted a plume of smoke, which they assumed was a material fire ( they have names for different kinds of fire out there, it's a regular summertime problem).  After about 30 minutes inside, he left to another building, and saw that the sky was already filling with smoke. Meanwhile, Rich got a call from his wife Karen about evacuating, he just dropped everything and walked off the job, rushing over to the high school to get his son. Meanwhile at home, Karen and her sister Julie, who lives nearby, were getting their pets in carriers and grabbing a few things to put in a suitcase, plus some important papers. My nephew told me that when they got to the house, it was as if it was raining, but what was coming down was chunks of charred wood. They formed a caravan of two cars, Rich with 3 cats and a dog, Karen, Julie and my nephew with 4 more cats. They had to leave a car behind that wouldn't start. 

They left as soon as they could, but what is normally a 5 minute ride to the main roadway took an hour. By the time they actually got into town, buildings on both sides of the road were in flames, the sky was so black from the smoke it looked like midnight, and the road was choked with 27,000 residents trying to flee all at once. Rich called me here in PA to let me know what was happening. 

Through smoke so thick he could barely see to drive, and feeling the heat radiating into the car, they had to maneuver around telephone poles that had exploded from the heat and landed in the road, just missing a downed transformer, and driving over power lines. He called me again to let me know that they had finally made it onto the highway and were safe.

Now the problem was finding a place to stay.  Thanks to cells phones they were able to call motels in the surrounding area, but already could not find one closer than 50 miles away in Red Bluff. They will need to move on Thursday because the rooms were already booked in adanvce. They will relocate to another motel further south in Williams for about 5 days, then on to Orland for about 10 days. Still uncertain as to where they will end up after that.

Karen's mother, who also lives (lived) in Paradise, had a heart attack and is being released from the hospital today.  Rich will be driving her to stay with her sister in Reno. He hopes to resume work in Chico on 
Thursday. Butte County has cancelled school until at least 11/23, pending air quality. Students from the Paradise schools will attend classes in Chico, probably with a shortened schedule for the Chico kids in the morning and another shortened schedule for the Paradise kids in the afternoon. Karen's father lives in nearby Magalia, no word yet on the condition of his home, but at the least they expect there is major smoke damage.

As of this writing, 48 people did not survive the sudden blaze. 6,700 homes have been totally or partially destroyed. 

We are asking for financial assisance to bridge the gap until insurance payments are received. Motel rooms, eating out, clothing, luggage to carry it in, gasoline, those are the immediate basic needs.34441260_1542163042184179_r.jpeg
(This is a photo Rich took while they were stuck in traffic trying to evacuate.)

In Karen's words:
"Our little red-roofed, wall of windows, open beam ceilinged, window seated, hardwood floored, tulip tree graced home set back from the road under shady oaks and a single wisteria clad ponderosa pine is gone. Condolances and blessings to all of our neighbors on Valley View Drive."

Please share this campaign to help us keep it moving towards our goal. You have all been terrific , we've gotten to a great start!

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  • Angelina Muscolino  
    • $50 
    • 13 mos
  • Carol Fisher 
    • $25 
    • 14 mos
  • Lisa Naomi K 
    • $25 
    • 14 mos
  • Elaine Friedlander  
    • $25 
    • 14 mos
  • Robbie Harper 
    • $20 
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Organizer and beneficiary

Lorraine Crist Campman 
Paradise, CA
Karen E. Crist 
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