Details are emerging Tuesday about the sixth person to die in the Carr Fire, a man who lived in the Keswick area north of Redding, as well as the number of people who are currently missing after the massive fire prompted major evacuations last week.
The man was reported missing by a family member after they hadn’t heard from him after the evacuation, Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said in announcing the death on Sunday. The man received an evacuation order and didn’t leave, Bosenko said.
Bosenko said late Monday that a relative of the man gave the Sheriff’s Department his address and when law enforcement arrived, they found a residence burned to the ground and human remains.
The Keswick area was evacuated early Thursday morning, hours before the Carr Fire rushed eastward into Redding, destroying homes and forcing the evacuation of more than 39,000 people.
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It’s not far from Keswick Dam Estates where three members of the Bledsoe family were also killed when the fire jumped the Sacramento River and consumed their home.
Twenty people were missing from Redding and areas around the city, the Redding Police Department said in a news release Tuesday afternoon. Just hours after the list was released, 16 of those people were found, Sgt. Todd Cogle said.
Cogle said police searched their database for possible contact information for the missing people, then visited each person’s house to conduct a search. Most homes were untouched by fire, he said.
“We’re hopeful it’s a good sign,” Cogle said. He thinks it’s likely that “everybody had to leave in such a hurry … that they left behind their electronic devices (and) nobody’s able to get ahold of them.
“We’re hoping once they see their name, they’ll reach out and let us know that they’re OK,” he added. “I think we’re going to find that that’s the case with most of them.”
Of course, there is another possibility for their disappearances.
“I’m not naive to the fact that something grave could have befallen some of these individuals, but we are hopeful that that’s not the case,” Cogle said.
If police are not able to locate the missing people, eventually they’ll enlist resources to sort through the rubble of damaged or destroyed homes to see if there are bodies buried underneath, Cogle said, like they did for the missing great-grandmother and two young children under her care.
The three remaining missing people are:
- Richard Bigby, Redding (home is intact, police say)
- Bruce Brown, Old Shasta (home is likely damaged, police say)
- Glenda Prusa, Redding (home is intact, police say)
Those with information about the missing persons are encouraged to call the the Carr Fire Missing Persons Hotline is 530-225-4277.