You Have Survivor's Guilt': Paradise Pastor Reflects On Camp Fire
wbur.com, Robin Young, November 15, 2018
As the Camp Fire continues to burn through Northern California, cadaver dogs search for remains. At least 56 people have died, and more are still missing.
In the town of Paradise in Butte County, one of the most devastated communities, many lost their homes and businesses, including pastor Sam Walker of the First Baptist Church of Paradise and the Congregation Harei Yeshua in Paradise.
"Very few people have lived through stuff like this," Walker tells Here & Now's Robin Young.
"You have survivor's guilt," he says. "You're like, 'Why am I here? Why is my family all here? Why are our churches still standing?' I don't know. My house is gone, like so many others.”
On escaping the fire
“I had to go get my mom and dad, who hasn't been able to get out of bed for the last two years. We had to load him in a truck, and while we were doing that, it had gotten so dark that all of the lights were clicking on — all the lights normally come on at night — and you could hear in the distance propane tanks just exploding.
“I had put my emergency blinkers on, and I went down the other side of the road, and so I'm going like 60 miles an hour down the road, while there's bumper-to-bumper traffic on the right side of the road, and I look behind me, and there was a whole line of cars following me. And I hope by doing that, we took some of the traffic, so people can move forward.”