Paradise residents starting over in Grants Pass

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. – The Powell family is starting over in Grants Pass after the Camp Fire burned their home and business.

The fire broke out on November 8, 2018. Thousands of homes were destroyed and 86 people died in that blaze.

Greg and Jessi Powell grabbed what they could when the fire broke out.

“When you’re in that panic situation your brain turns into oatmeal,” Jessi said. “Just grab your animals and drive.”

For three years the couple owned the Grocery Outlet in Paradise. When that burned, they took a leap when they heard the Grants Pass location was looking for a new owner.

“Crazy timing. Really fast, we took over ownership January 17th, so there was a lot of things going on in our lives and basically we had to redo what we did three years ago in paradise basically opening up a new store,” Greg said. “It was a whirlwind finally settling in now 6 months later.”

Once they arrived in Oregon, they said life got easier.

“Everything has been easier, the community is great I cant think of anything negative” Jessi said.

The Powell family said they feel more comfortable in Grants Pass.

“The situation in southern Oregon is much different than what it was in California,” Greg said. “We feel more comfortable and fortunately our neighbors are really proactive and thinking ahead and planning and that just didn’t happen then in paradise.”

Jessi Powell said it was a hard lesson to learn but a good reminder on the importance of preparedness.

“Make sure you have a plan. I only knew what to do that morning because I had a practice run about a year before the fire,” Jessi said.

Jessi said she wants to remind everyone to count their blessings and remember what is important.

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