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Families return to devastation left in wake of LaPorte Fire

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BANGOR, Calif. - Bangor, which lists a population of 646 on the sign entering town, has been temporarily lowered.

Many families have been displaced to homes of friends or family, as 37 homes were destroyed during the LaPorte Fire which broke out last Monday morning.

"Everything inside was brand new," said Randy Martin upon looking at the destruction of a rental house he and his wife Angela and their two daughters had lived in for the last decade.

Angela was with her daughters and grandmother when the fire headed her way across Oro-Bangor Highway near the LaPorte crossing.

"I just grabbed a couple of things of my girls, got them and my grandma out," said Angela.

Everything was destroyed, including the items that can't be replaced.

"My sister passed away, and all of her pictures are gone," said Angela tearfully.

Rosa and Mike Gomez spent some of their day looking for items at the Bangor Community Church where donations have been coming in bagfuls.

The fire destroyed their house which had been in the family for 51 years

"We've got all kinds of memories," said Rosa. "All kinds of pictures are gone and books that were there are gone."

The Bangor Union Elementary School reopened Monday after being closed for one week. All but 13 of the school's 75 students attended the school where counselors were on hand to help the young students cope with the tragedy.

"It's a good thing to talk about it with others with what's happened," said Roger Bylund, school superintendent. "It does seem to relieve some anxiety."

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