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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.

Cases: 224547

Reported Deaths: 2877
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah42425618
Washington28176259
Marion24842333
Clackamas20349243
Lane15401176
Jackson13240160
Deschutes1074187
Umatilla988394
Linn644882
Yamhill515882
Klamath498279
Douglas479594
Polk440457
Josephine438076
Malheur370967
Benton354822
Jefferson252842
Coos241040
Columbia213732
Union175924
Wasco160631
Lincoln159122
Crook144724
Hood River128934
Morrow125017
Clatsop123711
Baker116018
Curry86512
Tillamook7985
Grant5657
Lake4868
Harney46611
Wallowa2486
Gilliam881
Sherman872
Wheeler491
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4003787

Reported Deaths: 64620
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles131165624721
Riverside3112424667
San Bernardino3095025265
San Diego3011003805
Orange2856205146
Santa Clara1245862183
Sacramento1178311790
Kern1143421428
Fresno1057321746
Alameda980131290
Ventura845891046
Contra Costa78084836
San Joaquin776151461
Stanislaus666191097
Tulare50731854
San Mateo45255588
Monterey44651528
San Francisco41758565
Solano36525261
Santa Barbara36106469
Sonoma33414331
Merced33321485
Imperial29333746
Placer25624307
Kings23790251
San Luis Obispo22356267
Madera17220249
Santa Cruz16779207
Yolo15149215
Marin15039243
Butte13523205
Shasta13179242
El Dorado11312121
Napa1055282
Sutter10343127
Yuba712950
San Benito632664
Tehama592766
Lassen590526
Nevada568575
Humboldt535154
Mendocino485652
Tuolumne469173
Lake440866
Amador395348
Siskiyou259640
Glenn248127
Colusa238118
Calaveras235658
Del Norte174710
Inyo148238
Mono13395
Plumas7926
Modoc5767
Mariposa5377
Trinity4696
Sierra1370
Alpine910
Unassigned810
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