PARADISE (CBS13) — It turns out, there’s something different about many homes in Paradise that survived the Camp Fire. A McClatchy study found many of them were built after 2008 when new building codes went into effect.

A homeowner in Paradise says there’s clear proof, as his house is still standing. Oney Carrell said when he, his wife, and his father-in-law were making their escape, he was not sure any of them would survive.

Carrell said the care they took while building their home helped it survive with only minimal damage.

“It got this window here…melted the trim,” Carrell said. “I think part of the reason why it survived better was the fact that these are high-energy efficient windows.”

READ ALSO: Principal Saying Goodbye To Paradise High School After Camp Fire

Windows designed to save energy reflected heat and prevented heat damage.

The Carrells built their home in 2012 with fire safety in mind. He said 99% of the surfaces on the outside are not wood but some kind of non-flammable material. They also followed the 2008 building code requiring a fire-resistant roof.

Those precautions helped the house withstand the deadly flames. Unfortunately, the backyard cabin where Carrell’s father-in-law lived did not make it.

“35 feet away and it doesn’t look like there was ever any fire here,” Carrell said.

READ: First Building Permit Issued In Paradise Since Camp Fire

Carrell hopes people building homes learn the lessons of the Camp Fire and follow his family’s example when it comes to planning for the worst.

“There’s the house. Unbelievable! I’m thinking that we did something right here. We really put something together that did a good job through a hell of a fire. That’s what I’m thinking,” Carrell said.

The Camp Fire destroyed more than 10,000 homes.

Adrienne Moore

  1. Audball Culbertson says:

    The problem here is not the buildings it is all the forest that has been unmanaged, lets stay focused on the problem. obviously we do have homes in poor state and I agree those homes need to be upgraded or removed. but we also have an abundance of homeless people living up here in tents that had no home up here to begin and they are depleting the supplies of the homeowners that need them.

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