A year after California’s worst wildfire, the people of Paradise are still clearing the devastation. About 90% of the homes were lost. Kevin, Tom, and Richard meet three families determined to rebuild according to the wildland urban interface codes.
SUBSCRIBE to This Old House: http://bit.ly/SubscribeThisOldHouse.
On the morning of November 8, 2018, the 27,000 residents of Paradise, California woke to an orange glow in the Eastern sky, but it wasn’t the sun. The worst wildfire in a state known for wildfires was heading West.
Kevin hears the stories of threes families who narrowly escaped Paradise and speaks with fire engineer Calin Moldovan who helped to lead people to safety. It was devastation that is hard to comprehend. Basic infrastructure services such as water, electricity and gas have to be restored.
Water expert Michael Lindquist explains to Richard how the water system drained and depressurized during the fire, pulling in contaminated air. One of the first families to rebuild is Luke and Crystal’s family. They’re building a near replica of their burned home in the exact location.
Kevin gets a tour during the construction. Jose and Anna are working through the design details of their new house and hope to break ground soon. Joey and Avonlea are changing the layout but maintaining the same style as their burned home. In 2008 California improved its building codes to make homes more resistant to wildfires. Between 2008 and the fire, Paradise had 350 homes built using the new code. Of those, 50% survived the fire. By contrast only 18% of the homes built before the new codes survived.
Tom dives deep into the fire safety issue with local builder, Bret Wayland. Bret is among the builders starting new houses in Paradise. He shows Tom his techniques for building a wildfire proof home.
Tom, Kevin, Richard meet at the site of a future memorial to honor the brave. They reflect what they have experienced on the visit to Paradise. They will continue to follow the progress on the three projects and pitch in to help the town as well.
Enjoying full-episodes of This Old House? Join This Old House INSIDER to stream every episode ever made of This Old House (over 1,000 hours), commercial-free. https://bit.ly/32CLaGe
Plus, download our FREE app for full-episode streaming to your connected TV, phone or tablet: https://www.thisoldhouse.com/pages/streaming-app
Products and Services from this episode
Wayland Construction Inc.
Anderson Brothers Corp.
Table Mountain Masonic Lodge #124
Paradise Irrigation District
U.S. Fire Administration
About This Old House TV: This Old House is America’s first and most trusted home improvement show. Each season, we renovate two different historic homes—one step at a time—featuring quality craftsmanship and the latest in modern technology. We demystify home improvement and provide ideas and information so, whether you are doing it yourself or hiring out contractors, you’ll know the right way to do things or the questions to ask. Our experts including general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, landscape contractor Jenn Nawada, master carpenter Norm Abram, and host Kevin O’Connor give you the tools you need to protect and preserve your greatest investment—your home.
Follow This Old House:
This Old House | Paradise Lost (S41 E13) | FULL EPISODE