Town Leaders, Residents Plan Next Steps for Paradise

CHICO -- It was standing room only inside Chico City Hall Wednesday.

"The purpose was to get a financial update on the town," said Paradise Mayor Jody Jones.

Jones along with members of the town council held a meeting for displaced Paradise residents.

"There were lots of rumors going around that the town's going to go bankrupt," Mayor Jones said. "So we wanted to publically have that financial update so people know what the plan is."

Officials also included updates on looting concerns, the irrigation district, schools and the reentry process in certain zones.

"The zones on the south end of town and the very east end of town, we’re hoping to let people in early to mid next week," Jones said.

Alfonso Magdaleno was one of several Paradise business owners at the meeting. He owns Celestino's Pizza and Pasta, one of the few structures left untouched during the fire.

"I couldn’t believe it. I was like, 'How in the heck is it still standing?'" Magdaleno told FOX40.

His mission was to show support for business owners who weren't as lucky.

"You talk to people in there and they genuinely want to rebuild," he said. "Sometimes you'll talk to them one day and they want to rebuild and the next day they’re talking about leaving. And I get it because there are some days I’m like, 'Oh, do we just close it up?'"

Some who lost everything, like Michael Doughty, say they understand the area must be deemed safe before people can return to their property.

"I understand where that's going and I know it’s going to take a while for us to get back up there and see what’s there," Doughty said. "We already know what's there."

While Jones said the majority of the questions were related to reentry she also said one last comment made her smile, even after losing her own home and town to the fire.

"She thought we were all doing a very commendable job in the face of adversity," she recalled. "So that was very encouraging to hear."