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Bangor recovers after La Porte fire

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BANGOR, Calif. - From the door of Bangor's heart, Bangor Grocery, customers can see the devastation that still remains.

"[We're] the only Bangor store there is," said Kelly Harden. She's worked at Bangor Grocery for over two years.

On this day four weeks ago, a fire that would spread to over 6,000 acres, ripped through the town pushed by winds, through 398 homes and buildings.

"It's a disaster, I mean it's sad, is what it is," said Larry Smith, a local who stopped into Bangor Grocery while helping a woman get back on her feet.

In some cases, what little residents did have was lost, but Sunday they said life must go on.

"It's heartbreaking, but it's nice to know that they have their chin up knowing that they're going to be able to come back," said Harden.

As they do, they stop in the only grocery store in town, knowing they can rely on Bangor Grocery to supply their day-to-day needs. "Water, bread, ordered as much milk, everything that we could possibly do," Harden said.

Ever since the evacuation, she and the owner of Bangor Grocery have been ordering double of these commodities as needed. They're also collecting donation and selling shirts that say "#Bangor" and "#Loma Rica Strong" to raise money for fire victims.

"Lots of mixed emotions," Harden said. "Everybody's holding their chin up the best they can. Just as long as those who weren't victims of this whole terrible thing are there for those who are."

It's an attitude rippling here from the heart through the town.

"I was volunteering some time for a burned out victim and I serviced her travel trailer and got it set up so they have water and electricity and a place to stay," said Larry Smith.

It's a suffering community but they there for one another in a slow, but steady recovery.

"A lot of hugs, a lot of laughs, you know, whatever people need, everybody's doing it for each other," said Harden.

Anyone who would like to purchase a Bangor Strong shirt can call Bangor Grocery at 530-679-0424.

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