Fire leaves path of de­struc­tion

Lodi na­tives re­turn af­ter los­ing home

Lodi News-Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - By John Bays NEWS-SEN­TINEL STAFF WRITER

Af­ter Dean and Schel­ley Tarbell — both Lodi High School grad­u­ates — lost their home in Par­adise to the Camp Fire on Thurs­day, they re­turned to Lodi to stay with Dean’s par­ents.

“We’re just dazed and over­whelmed,” Dean said on Fri­day. “We’re safe, our boys are safe, but we lost our home, pets, ev­ery­thing.”

The sky was black and or­ange as Schel­ley drove her sons Jonas Tins­ley, 14 and Manny Tins­ley, 16, to school on Thurs­day morn­ing, she said, and was at the lo­cal hospice cen­ter’s thrift store where she vol­un­teered when she got a call to pick her sons up from school.

Schel­ley picked up Jonas, she said, and learned later that Manny had gone to his fa­ther’s house — her ex-hus­band — be­fore evac­u­at­ing as well, and lit can­dles when the power went out at her house.

“It was pitch black, you couldn’t see any­thing,” Schel­ley said. “A neigh­bor came over and when we went up­stairs, the fire was right there. My neigh­bor looked at me and said ‘go.’”

Schel­ley threw a few clothes and a pil­low into a suit­case and fled with her son at ap­prox­i­mately 10:30 a.m., she said, up­dat­ing Dean who was down south ful­fill­ing his du­ties with the Army Re­serves at the time.

Schel­ley was un­able to bring her cats with her, how­ever, and now fears the worst.

“I had three cats, they were my ba­bies,” Schel­ley said. “All I could do was leave the door open and hope they made it out.”

“We’re just dazed and over­whelmed. We’re safe, our boys are safe, but we lost our home, pets, ev­ery­thing.”

DEAN TARBELL, LODI NA­TIVE STAY­ING WITH PAR­ENTS

One of Schel­ley’s neigh­bor’s stayed be­hind to try and put out spot fires, she said, and in­formed her that her house had been de­stroyed by the fire, along with his house and most of the city.

“It’s all gone,” Schel­ley said. “The hos­pi­tal ba­si­cally went first, but they got every­body out.”

Dean and Schel­ley are also wor­ried about their friends in Par­adise, he said, keep­ing track of every­body to make sure they evac­u­ated safely as well.

“God bless Par­adise, all of those peo­ple are out of jobs. The high school made it and said they’re go­ing to re­open, but to who? No­body’s there,” Schel­ley said.

Although their house and most of their pos­ses­sions are gone, Dean and Schel­ley are do­ing their best to stay pos­i­tive, find­ing com­fort in their Chris­tian faith as they make plans to build a new home.

“We’re on an acre (of land),” Dean said. “We’re just go­ing to re­build and start again.”

“It’s done. The only thing we can do is try to move for­ward,” Schel­ley said. “I just hope one of my lit­tle kit­tens comes up to me when we go back.”

NEAL WA­TERS/ZUMA PRESS

The Camp Fire rages through the town of Par­adise in Butte County on Thurs­day. Dozens of busi­nesses and home were de­stroyed as the fire moved faster than fire­fight­ers could re­act to it.

BEA AHBECK/NEWS-SEN­TINEL

Dean and Schel­ley Tarbell, who lost their house and pets in the Par­adise Fire and are stay­ing with Dean’s mother in Lodi, talk about their loss in Lodi on Fri­day. Dean and Schel­ley are both Lodi High grad­u­ates.

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