PARADISE (CBS13) — Businesses are being brought back to life after the Camp Fire brought the town to ground zero.
The oak trees “Oak Hill Estates” is named after are now gone, but the sign is all that is still standing.
“I’m sort of depressed, because I may have to find a new name for my park,” said owner Richard Stach.
He jokes he may need to now call the park, “The Bald Eagle.” His park is just one of countless properties completely swept out by the Camp Fire in mere minutes. Stach’s team tried to do everything they could to save it.
Video captured by one of Stach’s tenants and staff members shows his fight as he tried to put out the fire before it spread on November 8th.
“He packed up every one of my tenants and helped them get out, and then he grabbed my fire hose and went to fight this fire by himself,” said Stach.
Mostly seniors lived there. “We’re screaming at him to get out, he barely made it out of town alive,” said Stach. “When they left, they were hopeful maybe something survived.”
But when he and his team came back, nothing was left. The fire turned his entire world upside down.
“It’s the closest thing to being in a war that you can get to without being in one,” said Stach.
But one year later, he’s rebuilding.
“You don’t get the chance much to rebuild a town where everything is going to be new,” Stach said. “We’ve taken out about 300 trees down in the park just to be fire safe.”
He also brought in his own water tanks, a generator, and a pump, to make his tenants feel safe.
“A lot of people are so nervous. They want the peace of mind to know this isn’t going to happen again,” said Stach.
Stach knows not all of his long-time tenants will come back.
“If I have everyone back that I knew before my park, I can pretend it never happened,” said Stach.
Stach says he expects about one-third of his tenants to come back and live permanently.