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A lost home and lost 'way of life' | Camp Fire survivor reflects on Paradise

A Camp Fire survivor says the devastating fire took more than just her home but her way of life

PARADISE, Calif. — Three years after the devastating Camp Fire destroyed Paradise and surrounding communities, survivor Karen Corson says she lost much more than her home.

"It was as dark as night, and there were flames in the trees around the hospital," said Karen Corson who lived in Paradise. She was working at Adventist Health Feather River hospital when the Camp Fire broke out.

That night, she also called her son 11 times while he was at home sleeping. Corson and her son were able to make it out safely, but after the fire settled, she was left with nothing. 

"My house burned down to the ground, all had was what was wearing and my purse," she said. 

But for Corson, it was more than her home that she lost.

"My home, my personal belongings and treasures, my community, my job, my way of life, the ability to gather with all my friends as we would often do and my church. I have a different neighborhood, different doctors, different stores, a different church, a different job, a different house, different local news, different streets and a different way of life," she said.

"I am doing it all alone, no family close by and none of my friends from Paradise close by," she added.

Ultimately, what Corson said she really wants is for PG&E to be held accountable. PG&E pleaded guilty in June 2020 to felony involuntary manslaughter for killing 84 Californians in the 2018 Camp Fire. 

"Do I want PG&E to be held accountable for forcing this on me? Yes,
 she said. "The money is not what really matters. It is holding PG&E accountable, so this doesn't happen again and again and again." 


Camp Fire: One Year Later | Paradise Fire Documentary

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