Resource building ‘The Brick’ initiates the rebuilding of Paradise


Many locals came back to Paradise for the one year anniversary. The reactions were all different as the event carried on. Photo credit: Melissa Herrera

On the one year anniversary of the most destructive fire in state history, the Paradise community gathered to celebrate the strength and resilience of the town. A major topic of the Camp Fire commemoration ceremony was unity, a theme reinforced by the adoption of a new building in the center of town hall.

“We’re celebrating a sneak preview of the town’s new building resiliency center (which) we’re calling…‘The Brick,’” Paradise Mayor Jody Jones said.

The Name Sign
Right across the Brick building was a big sign that had all the names of those who who died. Photo credit: Melissa Herrera

The Brick, donated by Bank of America, is considered by the town council, businesses and people of Paradise as a starting point for rebuilding. It brings hope that the town can regenerate what was lost one year ago.

Other members of the Paradise town council spoke of the significance of The Brick and what it means to the community.

Council member Steve Crowder explained the need for a new building in town hall. “One of the recovery projects in the long-term recovery plan created by this community, for this community listed a building resiliency center as a keystone project,” Crowder said.

“The building resiliency center will be a one-stop-shop for residents and contractors during our rebuilding,” he said. “As one of its top priorities, the town council directed staff to assist Camp Fire survivors who want to rebuild…The town council wants to welcome everyone home, and this is where we begin.”

There was an emphasis on resiliency throughout the commemoration, which included 85 seconds of silence for each life that was lost in the fire. The town council also revealed a phoenix sculpture placed inside the new resiliency building to represent both the loss and rebuilding of Paradise.

Residents and friends of Paradise were supportive of one another in the anniversary of the tragic fires and many commented on how empowered they felt about the town coming together in light of the destruction of the fire.

“Because of this whole experience, I think its definitely brought the community closer and I think its made us realize that we don’t need a lot of stuff; what really matters is our friends and our family and even complete strangers,” Leann Powell, a Chico business owner who housed several families during the fire, said.

The Brick is considered by the town council, community and people of Paradise to be a starting point for rebuilding and hope that the town can regenerate what was lost one year ago.

As the town somberly remembers Nov. 8, the rebuilding of Paradise is in progress and with it follows the strength of its community.

Danielle Kessler can be reached at [email protected] or @reserv0irpups on Twitter.