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Finding Missing People in Paradise, California

Newswatch 12's Rachel Tiede is with Oregon teams searching destroyed and damaged homes for missing people.

Posted: Nov 18, 2018 10:55 AM
Updated: Nov 19, 2018 12:26 AM

PARADISE, Calif. -- Oregon teams went door-to-door or sometimes driveway to driveway when those doors no longer exist searching destroyed and damaged homes.

"The families need closure," Michael Maynard a lieutenant with Lebanon Fire District said. 

Maynard didn't think he'd ever be doing work like this. He and his team are searching damaged homes, looking for human remains, hoping to bring answers to the people who live here.

"It's grim I mean when they started talking about hundreds of people missing and we've never done anything like this," Maynard said.  "It was kind of turning over every rock hoping to find something, but not hoping to find something you know?"

It's hard work; crews go to every address. They pull back tin roofs to see if anyone tried to hide underneath in their last moments.

Maynard said if a person wasn't sheltered by something there's likely little left. The fire was so hot the bodies would've been cremated.

"Most of us will go our entire career and never see a burned body. Maynard said. "We just don't have that many fires and to come here with the potential to see hundreds if you're in the right position -- it's crazy."

That doesn't deter them as they move door to door, street by street. Because it's about finding closure and healing for the folks that call this now badly wounded town home.

"[It's the] gratification and the satisfaction that we came here made a difference because I feel we did," Maynard said. "Every day that we were here we went through a house, and every house that we went was closure for somebody and that gives all of us the reason to be here."

As of the latest update there are about 1,300 people still missing and 76 confirmed dead.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 11454

Reported Deaths: 232
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah273072
Marion177053
Washington176420
Umatilla9377
Clackamas92527
Union3682
Lincoln3625
Malheur2861
Lane2813
Deschutes2370
Yamhill1799
Jackson1730
Linn17210
Polk17112
Jefferson1600
Klamath1311
Morrow1311
Wasco1061
Benton1056
Hood River1030
Douglas580
Clatsop550
Josephine551
Coos520
Columbia470
Lake240
Crook181
Tillamook160
Wallowa130
Baker90
Curry90
Sherman30
Harney20
Gilliam10
Grant10
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 310885

Reported Deaths: 6955
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1274393744
Riverside24765537
Orange22650412
San Diego18863420
San Bernardino18275304
Imperial7759132
Fresno762787
Alameda7485147
San Joaquin627968
Kern619597
Santa Clara5863166
Tulare5678152
Sacramento515279
Contra Costa446088
Stanislaus436450
San Francisco431650
Ventura409353
Santa Barbara386829
San Mateo3846112
Marin336430
Kings285539
Monterey241918
Solano207528
Merced179312
Sonoma156114
Placer102111
San Luis Obispo9054
Madera8578
Yolo83928
Santa Cruz5373
Napa4774
Butte3384
Sutter3374
San Benito3112
El Dorado3070
Lassen2610
Shasta1766
Humboldt1654
Glenn1640
Nevada1631
Yuba1633
Lake1081
Mendocino1070
Colusa1030
Tehama981
Calaveras670
Tuolumne640
Del Norte600
Mono491
Siskiyou410
Amador360
Inyo341
Mariposa311
Plumas170
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
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