Families, Friends Search Shelters for Missing Loved Ones Amid Camp Fire

California Connection
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OROVILLE -- At least half a dozen families were checking on missing loved ones and neighbors Thursday at a Camp Fire evacuation shelter in Oroville.

On Wednesday, Chrissy Kavanaugh described her elderly neighbor, 84-year-old James Kinner, who is one of the dozens of victims still listed as missing.

"He's about 5'7", 160 pounds. He didn't really have any hair left," Kavanaugh said. "We went to tell him what was going on but he didn’t want to leave."

Cars and homes destroyed by fire were seen on the property where neighbors say Kinner lived.

Kavanaugh and her family tell FOX40 they narrowly escaped the Camp Fire that left their home in ruins, but desperately tried to get their neighbor to join them. Kinner had a hard time walking on his own.

"He was just so far out of breath walking," a neighbor said.

In a heartbreaking moment, neighbors say Kinner eventually refused to leave.

"You can just look in his eyes and read it, 'It's just his time to go,'" a neighbor said.

Despite the devastation, Kinner's neighbors are hopeful he made it out alive.

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Sol Bechtold lives in the Bay Area but his mother lived in Magalia, another community ravaged by the wildfire.

"We've called the sheriff and had them do a missing persons report," Bechtold said. "We've tried to do a well-check. The sheriff did go out to her house and looked and her house has been destroyed."

Bechold says he's visited shelters in the area since the fire broke out nearly a week ago, hoping for a miracle.

"We find her and get to reunite and get to spend Thanksgiving together, and just be family," he said.


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