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Redding Man Helps Save Firefighter’s Home During Carr Fire

REDDING -- When duty calls, firefighter Derek Ward answers.

“We were on the south side of the river protecting houses,” Ward said.

Ward also watched the flames creep toward his own home, but was too far away to do anything.

“I was thinking about a lot of things in my house. Actually, my father just passed away last year so his stuff was in there. So that was on my mind,” Ward said. “I didn’t want to lose stuff from him.”

He didn’t think he’d have a home to return to until he heard how his friend Ben Anderson had spent his night.

“Derek is a Redding Firefighter protecting our town right now so the best thing I can do is protect his house,” Anderson said.

Anderson’s efforts were captured on cell phone video, and he was successful -- not only saving Ward’s house but his neighbor Steve Howard’s home.

“I don’t know how I could ever repay him. I owe him a lot. He’s a great friend of mine. It’s cool to see how many people were willing to help before and after the fire,” Ward said.

But Anderson says it’s the least he could do to help a firefighter working tirelessly to keep us safe.

“This is for you, Wards, this is for you Kevin,” Anderson said. “I love you guys.”

Cal Fire said the massive Carr Fire, one of the most destructive in state history, was fully contained Thursday night -- over a month after it started.

While some homes were saved, others were not as lucky.

Stephen and Stephanie Shaidell surveyed the rubble of their Redding home on Friday. It was destroyed by a massive fire tornado on July 26.

"It's just now you’re realizing the scope of things. People say, 'Well, you have insurance,'" Shaidell said. "And that’s great, but when you open your closet, it’s not your clothes. The couch you’re sitting on it’s not yours. You feel like you just want to go home."

They are staying in temporary housing for the time being, while they decide whether to rebuild.