Ridge contractors hit by Camp Fire given new tools by U.S. manufacturers

Update as of 10 a.m. Saturday

Valley Contractor's Exchange announced late Friday night that they had given away all their tools after an overwhelming response.

Saturday's giveaway has been cancelled. Valley Contractor's Exchange said they regret not having enough tools for the second day of the event, but they honestly did not expect such a big turnout for the first day.

Original article

An estimated 500 licensed contractors and construction workers from Paradise and Magalia waited in a long line in Chico Friday to pick up free tools provided by tool suppliers and manufacturers from around the United States.

Nearly all of the contractors lost their tools in the Camp Fire, and upon showing their contractors license and FEMA case number, could walk the aisles to choose tools that will help them restart their businesses.

The charitable effort was sponsored by Valley Contractors Exchange, Apex Tool Group and California Service Tools, which provided its warehouse on Entler Avenue to store the tools.

Corey Keirns of Apex Tool Group estimated that suppliers and manufactures donated in excess of a half million dollars in new tools.

"It's extremely important that they get their job done not only for their families but for the community," said Keirns.

Each contractor was given a cart to fill with as many tools as they needed before checking out.

"It gets me a basic start of where I was," said one Paradise contractor who lost everything in the fire.

Because so many contractors worked out of their homes, the fire took not only their houses but their means of making a living.

"This definitely helps," said another contractor upon looking at his new donated tools.

The tool giveaway continues Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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