Paradise residents recall horrifying escape from the Camp Fire

first_imgJustin Sullivan/Getty Images(PARADISE, Calif.) — Brian Andrews awoke on Nov. 8 to his panicked daughter at his bedside.A fast-moving wildfire that would become the deadliest, most destructive in California’s history was heading straight for Paradise.Andrews, a 52-year-old retired firefighter, had moved into his one-story home in the bucolic Northern California town a decade ago and was slowly renovating it, replacing the vinyl siding with sturdy wood. Now, his 24-year-old daughter was urging him to leave it behind.“She didn’t really like it when I said, ‘Go and get grandma out of town, and I’m going to stay here and defend the house,’” Andrews told ABC News in a recent telephone interview. “She said, ‘Dad, don’t forget my wedding dress.’”Andrews got dressed and went outside, grabbing a leaf blower from the shed and three garden hoses. He used a ladder to climb on top of the roof, where he spent the morning clearing out dead, dry foliage from the gutters and spraying water at embers landing on his property that the Camp Fire had spit into the breeze several miles away.Andrews was keeping up with the onslaught of embers, but soon darkness encroached on his neighborhood as thick smoke from the blaze choked the air, blackened the sky and blocked out sunlight. A firefighter who had come by Andrews’ house earlier returned in the afternoon to advise him that he was “completely surrounded” and “the fire’s coming.”“I had to really sit and evaluate what is this worth,” Andrews said. “I hadn’t been able to talk to my daughter for about two to three hours, I know she was worried. And I just decided to heed the warning and go ahead, grab my things and get in the truck and leave.”Andrews ran inside and grabbed a removable hard drive containing all his photographs along with eight family photo albums, two safes full of negatives, a suitcase of clothes, his fire helmet and his daughter’s wedding dress. He put everything in the back of his truck, took one last look at his home and hit the road around 1:40 p.m.As he pulled out of the driveway, Andrews saw his neighbor’s house across the street catch fire from flames that had engulfed their fence.“I can’t even really tell you what I was feeling, if I was feeling really anything. It was sort of, you know, like a dream,” he said.Driving slowly down Bille Road with his house in his rear-view mirror, Andrews saw bright orange flames and glowing embers on either side of him — cars, homes and trees were burning. He took out his cellphone and began filming as he carefully made his way out of Paradise.“Jesus Christ,” he muttered to himself in between heavy breaths.“I thought, ‘This is halfway through the consumption of the town, I better document this,’” he told ABC News. “I want people to know this can happen and this should never happen again in another town.”As he turned his truck onto Clark Road, Andrews was in disbelief at the fiery sight before him. Most of the buildings — the slew of family-owned businesses, the local supermarket, even the McDonald’s — had burned to the ground.“Everything’s burned. Oh my god, I mean everything,” Andrews says while still filming. “I’ve been in the fire service almost 25 years, and now I get what it’s like for your own town to burn.”Downed power lines and smoldering tree branches littered the road. The sky was murky and dark as night but it was in the middle of the afternoon. Andrews continued driving slowly as fire trucks whizzed by and sparks from the flames ignited new blazes.“It’s behavior was just very, very aggressive,” he told ABC News of the wind-driven fire. “Spots were just raining down all over the place.”‘We drove through hell’The Camp Fire, which ignited before sunrise Nov. 8 in a parched, wooded area of Butte County in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, spread across 240 square miles over the course of 18 days, annihilating Paradise and other communities in its path. Nearly 14,000 homes were destroyed and at least 85 people died from the blaze, mostly in Paradise.Friday marks three months since the devastating fire broke out. Dozens of Paradise residents remain displaced from their burned properties after being allowed to return due to the ongoing cleanup efforts. The federal government plans to reimburse the state for cleanup so long as the properties were not deemed safe already for people to live.The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.“I had no idea that there would be that many people that died in the fire, and my heart truly breaks for them,” Andrews told ABC News. “Nobody deserves to go out like that. It’s horrifying to just think about.”Some of those who survived, like Andrews, documented their harrowing escapes as they fled with their families and few belongings.Michelle and Daniel Simmons grabbed their wedding rings, a stuffed animal and a blanket, then piled their four young children into the car before fleeing for their lives. The family had to drive through flames on the Skyway, the main road in and out of Paradise. The car became extremely hot and the smoke-filled air was difficult to breathe.Michelle used her cellphone to film just a few minutes of the horrifying ride out of her hometown as Daniel drove.“Oh my god,” she says repeatedly as her voice shakes with terror. “Take little breaths,” she tells their frightened children, ages 8, 7, 2 and 1.“There was a couple moments where I didn’t think we were going to get out,” Daniel told ABC News in a recent sit-down interview. “We drove through hell.”It took them about two hours to get out of Paradise. Once they reached safety, Michelle took the kids out of the car, hugged them and cried. The family is together and safe, but their home is gone.“It’s that fine line between just being so incredibly grateful to be alive and just so, so sad because, you know, that was our life,” Michelle told ABC News.‘My little slice of Paradise’Authorities lifted all remaining evacuation orders for residents of Paradise and the unincorporated area of Butte County on Dec. 15. That day, Andrews returned to his property for the first time since leaving town.Much of his house was incinerated, with only some timber and a brick chimney left standing. One of the first things Andrews did was put up Christmas lights and decorations on the chimney and in the scorched front yard.Although the former firefighter was fairly well prepared by having a to-go bag and most of his photos saved on a removable hard drive, there are a few other valuables he forgot to grab, like his daughter’s baby-book and a folder of all her childhood drawings.“She drew me a giraffe one morning when she was about 3 years old and she came downstairs and said, ‘Daddy, I drew this for you!’ And I put notes on it, you know, the date and everything and what she said, and I had a bunch of those, just little keepsakes,” Andrews told ABC News, tearfully.Andrews, who said he now goes to the property about three times a week, hasn’t found his daughter’s drawings nor her baby-book. But he did find her first Christmas ornament that her grandmother gave her. The ornament, a pair of shoes, was covered in ash and soot but the words “baby’s 1st” were still clearly visible on the bottom.The find gives him hope there will be pockets of other salvageable things within the destruction as he gradually sifts through it, he said.For now, Andrews lives in a rental apartment in the nearby city of Chico with his daughter, her husband and another relative. They are generally “doing well and getting on with life,” he said. But soon he must make a difficult decision — to rebuild his home in Paradise or move on.“This morning, I woke up feeling sad just from thinking about moving to another town,” Andrews told ABC News. “I don’t think I would be happy somewhere else but my little slice of Paradise. So I’m pretty sure I’m going to rebuild my home.” Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

IT sector shows signs of stability as turnover falls

first_img Previous Article Next Article IT sector shows signs of stability as turnover fallsOn 5 Feb 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Staff turnover in the IT sector dropped sharply during 2001. A study by Computer Economics shows turnover fell from 19.3 to 12.7 per centin the six months to November last year. The November 2001Computer Staff Salary Survey of more than 500 companiesalso reveals the resignation rate fell from 12.7 to 6.8 per cent over the sameperiod. Companies also reported an improvement in recruitment with thoseexperiencing problems down from 55.2 per cent for the previous six months to44.7 per cent. A spokesman for the Computer Economics said: “The suggestion is thatfirms are now in a strong position in terms of retention in IT for the nextyear. “A certain uneasiness over the current economic position could be afactor in this stability, with employees displaying some reticence in changingjobs until the market position becomes clear,” he added. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more


first_imgBread sales are buoyant, according to the latest figures from TNS (pg 4). The main reason appears to be that premium breads, including brown and seeded, are proving popular and adding value to the sector.Health and nutrition are concerns that are here to stay, but so are climate change (carbon footprint), ethical trading (poverty) and sustainability (’we’ve only got one planet’). In fact, over the next few years I foresee an unprecented emphasis on everything from food miles to recyclable packaging, from Fairtrade to sustainable sources.All these could become labelling requirements by the multiples. They want to be seen to lead the field in climate change, sustainability and other ethical issues, believing it will make the consumer feel OK about purchasing. In rea-lity, it is also a way for the supermarkets and other stores to say: “We are ethical – shop here and feel good about it.”I’m sorry if that sounds a bit cynical. What they are doing is good. And we really do need to recycle more and pay a fair price for a fair product. But what worries me is labelling. For goodness’ sake, let’s have single industry standards or single industry symbols – not one symbol for this supermaket and another symbol for that. The Traffic Lights versus Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs) symbol war has been chaotic. It has been unfair on bakers and food manufacturers and muliplying that several times over would lead to more chaos.Sometimes, ethical policies clash. Is it better to use energy to grow fruits for tarts or torten under artificial heat and light in a greenhouse, locally, that can be delivered in cardboard and require virtually no food miles? Or is it better to grow them overseas, in natural sunlight and pay a Fairtrade price for them? That decision alone might involve symbols ranging from food miles, to carbon footprint and Fairtrade. And how important will recyclable packaging become? Will we see all bread packaged in recyclable plastic next?Finally, as we hear that Bakery NVQs are to disappear (pgs 6 and 20) and be replaced by modules under the heading of Food Manufacturing, may I urge you to read and heed Chris North’s comments about how to attract more youngsters to bakery (pg 13). He has vision indeed!last_img read more

Press release: RPA confirms 2018 BPS and CS bridging payments

first_img We have worked hard to improve our performance on the Basic Payment Scheme, and this year just a small number of farmers will be receiving bridging payments. We are also committed to driving up performance on the CS and ES schemes since taking those on in October last year. Our focus remains on processing the remaining claims and paying farmers as quickly as possible. I would like to thank all those involved for their continued efforts on this. A bridging payment is an interest-free loan to customers ahead of their full payment, providing them with 75% of the current estimated value of their claim. Once the full payment has been processed and made, the amount already issued through a bridging payment will be held back.This year the RPA has so far issued 98% of CS 2019 Mid Tier agreements and 95% of CS 2019 Higher Tier agreements. Farmers and land managers are reminded to sign and return these agreements, and to submit their BPS 2019 applications as early as possible. The claim window for BPS, CS and ES schemes closes on 15 May 2019. The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has confirmed today that farmers will start receiving bridging payments from Friday 12 April. This will cover Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) 2018 claims and Countryside Stewardship (CS) 2018 advance payments.While more than 99% of BPS 2018 claims have now been processed, a significant improvement on previous years, today’s announcement means that remaining eligible claimants will receive a payment for 75% of the estimated value of their claim. This will help with farm business cash flow while the remaining amount on their claim is processed.Bridging payments will also cover unpaid 2018 Countryside Stewardship advance payments. More than 95% of these payments have been made to farmers who are delivering important environmental work.The RPA has written directly to farmers to provide an update on bridging payments and on how these payments will be calculated. All eligible BPS claimants and CS 2018 advance claimants will start receiving bridging payments from 12 April.RPA Chief Executive Paul Caldwell said:last_img read more

Stephens the Bakers makes new appointment

first_imgDunfermline-based Stephens the Bakers has appointed Ewen Chisholm as its new sales director.The bakery, which took the title of Scottish Baker of the Year at the Scottish Bakers’ awards and conference in May, said Chisholm joined the business on 17 June, and will be responsible for all sales channels within the company.Chisholm has a convenience retailing background, and has experience in areas including: wholesale, business development and improvement, market research, store and warehouse operations, supplier relationship management and brand development.He has had previous posts at C J Lang and Son, him!, David Sands and The Co-operative Food.last_img read more

Claudia Winkleman to present BIA

first_imgTV legend Claudia Winkleman has been confirmed to present this year’s Baking Industry Awards (BIA).Now in its 28th year, the Studio 54-themed awards ceremony will be hosted by Winkleman, known for her presenting roles on Strictly Come Dancing and The Great British Sewing Bee.Winkleman is no stranger to bakery, having appeared on celebrity Bake-Off in 2013. Despite her efforts, she decided she would stick to presenting… and will be getting her dancing shoes to join the bakers at the disco ball-studded event. The long-respected awards will take place on Wednesday 9 September, at the Park Lane Hilton in London.Guests can enjoy a night of networking and entertainment as the 2015 winners are announced. To book your tickets today, call Elizabeth Ellis on 01293 846593 or email [email protected] Baking Industry Awards were launched in 1987 and, with up to 800 key industry executives attending the event every year, they have grown to be the most prestigious event in the baking industry calendar.The awards recognise achievement and professionalism across the baking industry, rewarding those companies and individuals who drive the industry forward.last_img read more

Colombian Defense Minister Santos Raises Reward For Capture of FARC Leaders

first_imgBy Dialogo March 27, 2009 Colombian Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos increased rewards for information leading to the capture of the FARC’s top two commanders, Alfonso Cano and Jorge Briceño, to 7 million pesos ($2.9 million) each. Meanwhile, in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, admirers hailed a former Colombian guerrilla leader as a hero on the anniversary of his death, while Colombian officials boosted cash rewards for his top two successors. Some 100 supporters marched past Venezuela’s presidential palace carrying red flags and posters of Colombian revolutionary Manuel Marulanda, whose real name was Pedro Antonio Marin. The state-funded television network Telesur, meanwhile, showed video of what it said was Marulanda’s funeral. Rebels were shown carrying his flag-draped coffin through a forest. Telesur did not say how it had obtained the footage. Marulanda co-founded the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, the Western Hemisphere’s last remaining rebel army. He died of a heart attack on March 26, 2008, at age 78 and is believed to be buried in southern Colombia. Colombian officials say they believe he died in rugged mountains near the town of Uribe, cradle of the 45-year-old rebel movement. “Long live Marulanda, long live the FARC!” Hector Rodriguez, a leader of the Venezuelan Communist Youth, shouted in a fiery speech in downtown Caracas. Participant Santiago Palacios, a member of the Venezuelan Communist Party, said President Hugo Chavez’s government had no role in the march, which he said was organized by the regional leftist group Coordinadora Continental Bolivariana and its Venezuelan affiliates. But Colombia’s government, which has used billions of dollars in U.S. aid to batter the guerrillas, says documents found in the laptop computer of a rebel leader killed last year indicate that the CCB was formed by the FARC _ a charge that CCB leaders deny. Other documents allegedly found in the laptop suggest that Chavez sought to fund the FARC, and Colombian officials say Venezuela continues to provide rebels refuge. Chavez calls both claims bogus. Colombia’s police chief, Gen. Oscar Naranjo, also announced the arrest of 10 alleged FARC members he said planned to assassinate Santos on his ranch south of Bogota during Easter Week.last_img read more

JTF-Bravo Brings 10,900 kg of Food and Carries Out 15 Rescues in Panama

first_imgBy Roberto López Dubois/Dialogo November 12, 2020 Members of U.S. Southern Command’s Joint Task Force Bravo (JTF-Bravo) continue rescue efforts, humanitarian support, and transportation of health care personnel in areas of Panama affected by flood and mudslides due to Hurricane Eta.As of November 11, the JTF-Bravo team has carried out some 15 rescues of people who were trapped in dangerous areas due to flooding. The U.S. mission in Panama has also transported about 10,900 kilograms of food as well as water to communities in Chriquí province and the Comarca Ngabe-Buglé, which were without supplies for a few days following the hurricane.Members of JTF-Bravo partnered with the Panamanian National Civil Protection System to deliver live-saving and urgent supplies of water and 4,535 kg of food to a community in Panama that was left isolated for 96 hours following the effects of Hurricane Eta, November 7, 2020. (Photo: U.S. Air Force Captain Rachel Salpietra)In addition, JTF-Bravo conducted reconnaissance flights with its helicopters to determine the damage to roads and infrastructure, and has evacuated people isolated by floods and landslides, and transported the bodies of victims from areas without land access.“Thanks to the tireless work of our government team, the solidarity of the Panamanians and the Joint Task Force team, medical supplies, medicine, bags of food and utensils continue to arrive to the affected communities in Bocas del Toro and Chiriquí,” said Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo on Twitter.Among the rescues made, the JTF-Bravo Public Affairs Office highlighted that of a 70 year-old man and his dog who were found weak due to lack of food and water. “We were told that he walked for seven days with his dog from the province of Bocas [del Toro] to Chiriquís. He apparently lost his horse along the way due to landslides,” JTF-Bravo Public Affairs Office shared with Diálogo.According to U.S. Navy Captain Matthew Turner, senior Defense cooperation officer in Panama, some HH-60 Black Hawk helicopters were already in Panama in preparation for an operation scheduled for January 2021 with the Ministry of Public Security, which allowed for immediate support to the affected areas.“Working together, we have been able to rescue several people from hard to reach places, as well as [transport] more than 40,000 pounds [18,144 kg] of humanitarian aid, water, food, medicine to people in rural areas; we have had a very close collaboration, and we are happy to be able to help Panama,” said Capt. Turner.JTF-Bravo Public Affairs Office said that as of the morning of November 11, the force had rescued 118 people throughout Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama and delivered 81,193 pounds of life-saving supplies.last_img read more

NextGen Know-How: 5 books to help elevate your culture this year

first_img continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr To elevate the culture of your credit union, you must set the standard for leadership and performance. This starts at the executive level. The first thing the executive team must do today to positively impact the leadership quality of the credit union is to declare that you will no longer promote for technical proficiency. To create an exceptional culture, you must start by creating exceptional leaders. This means instilling hiring and promotion practices that focus on leadership qualities, not technical skills. It also means we must train managers and executives to be influential, modern leaders.center_img Most organizations are average. They are stuck—not moving forward and not growing. Why? One answer is that average organizations have average leaders. It is still standard practice for many organizations to promote employees for their technical skills, rather than their ability to lead and inspire other people. This practice perpetuates mediocre culture.I believe there are three main reasons organizations are average:As noted above, employees are promoted for technical proficiency, and not leadership proficiency.The organization’s leaders are conflict-avoidant.Cultural health is not a strategic priority.last_img read more

Financial forethought for Fido

first_imgAccording to a 2018 survey, almost 70% of households in the US own a pet, and approximately a third of these will need an emergency trip to the veterinarian each year. This can be a major expense, with the average annual cost of this care ranging from $800 to $1,500 for cats and dogs. However, with careful planning, you can meet your pet’s health needs without depleting your savings account. Here are a few ideas…Pet Insurance: According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, more than two million pets in North America are insured. This option is growing in popularity, with some employers now offering pet insurance in their benefits packages. Monthly premiums can range from $10-100 per month, but compare this with paying more than $5,000 out of pocket for your pet to receive cancer treatment. If possible, get pet insurance when your pet is young and healthy – pre-existing conditions are frequently excluded.Family Budgeting: Adding a line item to your family’s monthly budget for your pets can cover the cost of pet insurance or provide a dedicated financial resource as issues arise (or both!). Including an allocation for your pet in the family emergency fund is a similar strategy for larger-scale concerns. This includes natural disasters, which could result in medical emergencies and other challenges for your pets.Preventative Medicine: Annual check-ups for your pet can save you money by helping avoid pet emergencies or major medical bills altogether. Spaying or neutering your fluffy friend can also help prevent health problems, including some cancers. An inexpensive topical solution can help your pet avoid parasites such as fleas and ticks, which means avoiding life-threatening anemia, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.Talk to Your Vet: If you already have a pet, your vet can educate you on which vaccines you can skip. While some prevent serious and costly diseases, others are for more mild conditions and aren’t always effective. If you’re thinking about getting a new pet, your vet can talk to you about genetic conditions common to certain breeds, which can help you plan early and more realistically for your new pet’s ongoing care. 218SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Ed SanFilippo Edward J. SanFilippo is a freelance writer, editor, and researcher with expertise across a broad range of topics. He has nearly 20 years of experience writing for public agencies, private … Web: Detailslast_img read more

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