Paradise officials and private citizens react to Freestone photos

A construction crew works on the side of Skyway in Paradise on Sunday.

A crew of Camp Fire cleanup workers were fired after posting offensive pictures to social media of themselves on destroyed property over the weekend.

The photos showed several workers mocking the destruction from the Camp Fire that they were being paid to clean up. One photo shows the body of a cat killed in the fire, with a beer bottle placed by its mouth. The crew was employed with Bigge Crane and Rigging.

Rob Freestone, one of the fired workers, is facing criminal charges from the Paradise Police Department.

Paradise Town Council Member Michael Zuccolillo said the incident is the exception among recovery workers, not the rule.

"You talk to those people one on one, and you see their heart, and you know you see the dirt on their face. You see their weariness at the end of the day. Don't let the actions of a few jerks disparage the good work that a lot of these people are doing for us," Zuccolillo said.

Lindy Esposito, a Paradise local, couldn't imagine if it had been the rubble of her home that was mocked in the photos.

"It made me very angry. It actually almost made me want to cry, because that's someone's property, and someone's pet. And, it's inexcusable," Esposito said.

Esposito's home is one of the only in her neighborhood to survive the Camp Fire. She returned on Sunday for the first time since the fire started.

Esposito understood that Freestone's actions do not reflect those of the majority of recovery workers, but what he did offends her both as a homeowner and a Paradise local. She believes the incident is just another speed bump, and that her neighborhood along with the rest of Paradise will continue to recover.

Criminal charges have not yet been filed against Freestone, and he has not been arrested. Paradise police are speaking with the Butte County District Attorney's office to start an investigation into the matter.

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