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Credit union escapes conflagration unscathed

Sierra Central Credit Union is one of the survivors of a fire that virtually razed the community of Paradise, Calif. this past November in the state’s worst fire in a century, reports the Credit Union Times.

Sierra Central CEO John Cassidy stated: “The word is miraculous and that’s no understatement. We are one of the very few, very fortunate businesses to survive.”

More than 90 percent of the homes in the town of 26,000 people were destroyed by the fire, which ignited in a rural area Nov. 8 and roared through the countryside of Butte County, north of Sacramento, incinerating 62,000 hectares, an area about one quarter the size of the Greater Toronto Area.

Dubbed the Camp Fire, the inferno was finally contained Nov. 25. By deadline, at least 85 people had been killed and 249 were listed as missing. About 19,000 buildings, most of them homes, were destroyed. The Washington Post reported that the death toll is expected to rise while thousands of displaced people were living in shelters and hotels or camping outdoors.

Cassidy pledged that the credit union would help the people of Paradise rebuild their community. “We’ll be there for them.” ◊