Marc Thompson reporting

PARADISE (CBS13) — A Paradise business owner is spending thousands of dollars to make sure employees left homeless by the Camp Fire now have a place to stay.

The Riebes Auto Parts store is one of the few businesses still left standing in Paradise, but most of the workers there lost everything, including their homes.

Company owner, Bart Riebe, purchased five brand new travel trailers, and set up a makeshift camp outside one of his Chico stores, allowing displaced employees to move in.

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“He’s really gone above and beyond what anybody would have ever expected,” said Riebes employee Robert Bruner.

Bruner and his wife Rebecca both work for the company. Their Paradise home was destroyed in the Camp Fire and they’re grateful to have a new trailer to stay in while they get their lives back on track.

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“I mean, how many owners of businesses here would do that, or could do that?” he said.

And the generosity continued. Riebe turned one trailer into a laundry room, complete with new washers and dryers, and he even set up a Christmas tree on site for the kids.

“We were just happy to still have our jobs. We were just happy that he’s still paying us, you know,” said Manager Rick Baker, who ran Riebes Paradise location before the Camp Fire.

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For families like the Bruners, the cozy trailer they say is a godsend, in otherwise uncertain times.

“We are way better off than a lot of people that have it a lot worse than we do and it’s just mind-blowing. There’s not enough thank you’s to give him. I mean, how do we repay this? We don’t,” Bruner said.

Riebe says his employees can stay in the trailers as long as they need to get back on their feet.


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