Summerville man’s family displaced by California wildfires

Summerville man’s family displaced by California wildfires

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - More than 56 people have died and more than 10,000 buildings have been destroyed from the Camp Fire in California.

The small town of Paradise is one of the areas hit hardest by the flames.

Summerville resident Larry Moorhead is from Paradise originally, and his entire family still lives there.

“You know, the high school I graduated from is burnt to the ground. The hospital is burnt to the ground, the grade school I went to is burnt to the ground, the house I grew up in is burned to the ground,” Moorhead said.

Moorhead said everyone he knows from Paradise has been affected by this fire.

“It just hits hard because that’s my home,” Moorhead said. “That’s where I’m from and that’s where I’m proud—I’m from Paradise.”

As the town was evacuating, driving along what looked like walls of fire, Moorhead’s sister was helping people who were stuck in their cars.

“She was driving down the bike lane and anybody that was out of their car she pulled into her car and they barely made it out of there,” Moorhead said.

Five of Moorhead’s family’s seven homes are now just piles of ash. Watching the state burn from here has been torture.

“It’s just the verge of tears just thinking about what all of these people are going through,” Moorhead said. “I wish I was there to help. I wish there was more I could do.”

Every year, Larry goes home to visit his family in Paradise.

He is supposed to be home for Thanksgiving this year.

“And now there is nowhere to go. You know what I mean?” Moorhead asked. “I have pictures of my kids to send, and I have no address to send them to.”

Tonight, Paradise is in ruins.

The areas that aren’t still burning are charred. The destruction we can see makes it seem like all hope would be lost.

But Moorhead says the community’s resilience will carry them.

“They’re going to rebuild and they’re going to push forward and they’re going to make Paradise better than it ever was,” Moorhead said. “I have no doubt in my mind.”

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