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Laura 2 Fire ravages Doyle, California; some residents don’t know what comes next

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 6:34 PM PST
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DOYLE, Calif. (KOLO) - The small community of Doyle, California in Lassen County is home to close to 600 people.

Except now, many residents do not have a home.

“We looked out the window over there and that entire field had flames all over it,” said Chris Brown, a Doyle resident who lost his home.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Laura 2 Fire blew through and burnt the community in a matter of hours. Brown and his wife, Helen, have lived in Doyle for the past 16 years. All things considered they are doing well even though their house is no longer standing.

“All of this stuff (inside the house) is expensive but it’s replaceable. People aren’t,” Chris Brown said.

The Browns attribute humble beginnings and helping one of their daughters rehab from an accident for making them tough enough to deal with the aftermath of the fire.

“We’ll just start over,” Helen said.

All that is left of the Browns’ property is a gazebo. Helen’s shop is melted. Chris’s shed was torched. Everyday treasures people take for granted no longer close by.

“We’re staying at a friends house now and you think ‘oh, I can just get my coat. And there isn’t one,” Helen said.

The Browns are taking this latest disaster in stride. A steady income and a great insurance policy have really helped matters.

Others in Doyle are not as fortunate. A woman up the street said her friends do not know what comes next.

“I know at least two of these families do not have insurance,” the woman said. “Nothing is coming for them (financially).”

The woman said she took in a family during this tragedy. Most residents have enough clothes and food. Rebuilding homes without any money is another issue.

The Bureau of Land Management is looking into the official cause of the fire.

Cash donations to the Doyle Fire Department is helpful, according to residents.

The Herlong Resource Center also accepts donations.

On Friday, Get Roasted Coffee Shop and Deli will host a tri-tip benefit dinner from 3 pm to 6 pm.

There are a handful of GoFundMe pages that community members say will help families recover, here, here, and here.

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