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One-Year Anniversary of the Wall Fire

July 7 marks the one-year anniversary of the Wall Fire. Reporter Laura Eng talked to a man who lost his home in the fire.

Posted: Jul. 6, 2018 6:49 PM
Updated: Jul. 8, 2018 10:55 AM

For Rick Stevens the open field where his mobile home once stood is like an open wound, reminding him of what he lost last year.

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"It's like a year hasn't even went by, it's like it just happened yesterday, only thing is it's cleaned up," said Stevens.

The Wall Fire started on July 7, 2017. It destroyed 41 homes and 57 structures in Butte County.

"Physically I'm good as far as where I'm at, but how do you deal with this? And there was 40 years here," said Stevens.

Stevens was in bad health last year and wasn't able to take much with him when the fire came near his home.

"So I got out in the truck, went to Old Olive and the fire already went through my place, it was here and gone." 

When Stevens surveys the property, it's clear he misses his home. "This would have been the front bedroom and then front room was right here, and then the kitchen and then the bedroom and then the hallway and then another bathroom."

One-year later Stevens is working on rebuilding his life. He is working on improving his health, relying on new friends and meeting with counselors to help cope with the loss. "God puts people in your life to help you deal with it, so that's basically where I am, I have a lot of support."

The fire has given Stevens a new perspective on life, as well as a new perspective on his Oroville community.

"I'm a charity case right now, it's whatever people can help with, but there's good people in this community and we just keep moving forward," said Stevens.

In the meantime, Stevens is working on securing his eligibility for state grants and said he will begin the rebuilding process as soon as he can.

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