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Redding safety fair focuses on recovery, loss

People stand at attention as the national anthem is sung at Redding City Hall during the Safety Fair.

A safety fair was held at Redding City Hall Tuesday evening to help people rebuild and stay safe in the aftermath of the wildfires.

There was a lighthearted atmosphere at the fair, much like at any other fair. The difference was people didn't just come for the popcorn, they were also there to learn.

One booth stood out. Covered in hot pink, it emitted the sound of crackling electricity. It belonged to Claudia Baum. She and her husband ran the Damsel in Defense booth, aimed at helping give women the power to fight back when assaulted.

"If someone comes up to me, I'm gonna use my flashlight first," Baum said. "Because I'm gonna see danger out there in front of me, in the bushes, behind my car. That's gonna be my first defense."

There was also information specifically geared for fire victims. It offered advice on recovery after losing a home; a fate that Roger Moore, Chief of the Redding Police Department, experienced first hand.

"That's what everybody wants right now, especially me, rebuilding my home. And I just want to know what the next steps are. So, and this is a great venue to talk to the people that are making those decisions," Moore said.

One woman lost her home to a wildfire four years ago. Her name is Mickie Bateman. She lives in Redding, working as a volunteer community watch captain.

"We're really spending the day in a very special way," Bateman said. "And it's wonderful to see how much of the community has come out."

The fair included a tribute to local firefighters who recently lost their lives. Fire Inspector Jeremy Stoke and Fire Chief Gerry Gray were the two Redding firemen who recently passed.

The public was able to add their names to a community memorial honoring the two men.

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