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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: 132412

Reported Deaths: 1799
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28237458
Washington18512171
Marion16085238
Clackamas11577138
Lane8219108
Jackson686284
Umatilla670968
Deschutes490736
Yamhill316245
Malheur312452
Linn310246
Klamath242238
Polk241340
Josephine170633
Jefferson168725
Benton168414
Douglas166643
Union110416
Wasco106323
Columbia103318
Lincoln98517
Hood River94821
Coos93315
Morrow92710
Clatsop6695
Crook60410
Baker5665
Tillamook3622
Curry3185
Lake2295
Grant2131
Harney1734
Wallowa963
Gilliam481
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2955323

Reported Deaths: 33342
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles100392313741
San Bernardino2482851560
Riverside2352352517
San Diego2098972065
Orange2093652320
Santa Clara914661060
Kern83547558
Sacramento802791080
Fresno79950932
Alameda65679757
Ventura59061412
San Joaquin56484748
Contra Costa50627430
Stanislaus41925739
Tulare40176501
Monterey34959249
San Mateo31291294
San Francisco28574254
Imperial24944463
Solano24654105
Santa Barbara23538228
Merced23492296
Sonoma23204234
Kings18661110
Placer16761173
San Luis Obispo15129128
Madera12883130
Santa Cruz11776113
Marin11345153
Yolo10240131
Shasta9594117
Butte9233121
El Dorado751544
Sutter748477
Napa723139
Lassen509413
San Benito485043
Yuba481827
Tehama397142
Tuolumne330438
Nevada309973
Mendocino307631
Amador295329
Lake243428
Humboldt226324
Glenn182419
Colusa16919
Calaveras153823
Siskiyou140813
Mono10834
Inyo92429
Del Norte8472
Plumas5735
Modoc3783
Mariposa3434
Trinity3024
Alpine730
Sierra700
Unassigned00
Medford
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Brookings
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