PARADISE — Devastation surrounds Paradise Fire Department’s Station 82 but, remarkably, the station’s walls are still standing.
Echoing all across Paradise is the rumble of recovery.
“Get my community back, that would mean everything to me,” said Colleen Connor.
Connor was getting ready to move into her daughter’s home after her’s burned to the ground. She had her doubts about living on the southeast side of town because there has not been a working fire station since the Camp Fire.
“We need our fire station. We need our guys back in town to take care of us that are still here,” Connor told FOX40.
The Paradise Fire Department is listening and reopened Station 82 Monday.
“Before today, we were running out of just one station on the other side of town,” said Kevin Little, who is an engineer with the Paradise Fire Department. “So, we got quite a few calls over here and it’s like a five-or-10-minute drive, which can make a huge difference sometimes.”
The station survived the fire but has been closed due to smoke damage and contaminated water.
While there aren’t many people still living in the town, Little was confident that they’ll keep busy.
“Mostly medical calls. A lot of burning complaints with debris burning. A lot of industrial accidents with all the dump trucks up here and heavy equipment,” Little explained.
Not to mention, fire season is right around the corner.
“A lot of people don’t realize that there’s still a lot of potential for this town to burn this summer,” Little said.
The fire department is now fully staffed in preparation, which brings comfort to people who hope the hum of forklifts carting away debris will soon be drowned out by the sounds of new construction.
“Knowing that they are here to help us means other people are going to start building,” Connor said. “They are going to say, ‘Hey, our guys are here. Come on home.'”
Station 82 will be staffed by three firefighters. The rest will continue working from a station on the north side of town.