CHICO (CBS13) – The Paradise community came together on Sunday to begin the healing process.
A vigil was held at First Christian Church of Chico. Residents were provided with candles to honor the lives lost in the Camp Fire, along those still missing and first responders.
Many people in attendance were still processing the reality that their beloved Paradise is in ruins.
“Almost like hell on earth honestly. It’s been crazy,” said Lawrence Brown, who lives in neighboring Magalia.
Nearly everyone still in town has lost someone. Kora Dobson attended to remember a co-worker and friend.
“She was an amazing nurse and I really enjoyed working with her,” she said.
Grief counselors were available to support those with loved ones still missing.
“When you don’t know, the grief is suspended,” said chaplain Mary Kerns. “And people have said to me it’s like treading water and not being able to go to one side of the pool or the other.”
Medical professionals were also on hand to assist the displaced with dire needs.
“Many are diabetics. They’ve lost their insulin, they’ve lost their glucose monitors” said Nancy Morgans-Ferguson with Shalom Free Clinic. “I bought out every glucose monitor that they have in town and we’ve been giving those out for free.”
But through it all emerged a determined spirit that Paradise will rebuild.
“Being that it’s the town that I grew up in I would definitely like to see it come back,” Brown said. “I know it’s going to take a while for that to happen, but I hope that by the time it’s done, we’ll have a new and improved town that’s better than ever.”