PARADISE (CBS13) — Search and rescue crews worked for hours Tuesday at the site of an assisted living home, known as Heritage Paradise, which was reduced to a pile of rubble by the Camp Fire.
Crews wore special gear and gloves so they could go in with their own two hands, moving large pieces of blackened furniture, charred wheelchairs, and gurneys out of the way to get to the victims who may be buried underneath it all.
David Ramey is a volunteer with Nevada County’s search and rescue team. He says he’s used to searching for missing hikers, but never has he sifted through ash and debris in search of human remains.
“It may be that it got too hot and we’re not going to find anything, but you never know,” he said.
The search is so vast that volunteers are getting a lot of help. Firefighters joined the grim search effort, many of them, just off the front lines.
Cal Fire Spokesman Manuel Garcia said fatigue really sets in for the firefighters. Garcia says the Heritage Paradise site was just one of the thousands of properties that still need to be searched.
“Everyone has to work together to accomplish the mission,” he said.
It’s a mission Ramey hasn’t even started to register.
“Right now I don’t think it’s set in the emotional part of it. I’m still kind of looking at this as rubble but that might change at some point,” he said.
For now, he said there’s a lot more work to be done. Crews said they did not discover any bodies at that site on Tuesday. But six more human remains were found in Paradise homes, bringing the death toll to 48.