Los Angeles Times

Poor seniors were likeliest to die as Camp fire raged

PARADISE, Calif. - Dorothy Mack had crippling back pain and deteriorating eyesight. Helen Pace used a walker and breathed from an oxygen tank. Teresa Ammons suffered a stroke in 2017 and couldn't drive.

Although each woman had a different frailty, their final circumstances were strikingly similar: They were all seniors on fixed incomes, they all lived alone, and they all died when the Camp fire roared through their mobile home park.

Experts say the incineration of Paradise, a sleepy town of 27,000 nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, is a case study in what can go wrong when a landscape that's prone to wildfire is disproportionately populated by those who are least likely to escape.

Like the women who died in Ridgewood Mobile Home Park, most of the 86 people who died in the fire were seniors. Of the 69 bodies that have been positively identified, 53 were over the age of 65 - or 77 percent.

This grim fact comes as no surprise to those

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times3 min readPolitics
Ex-Rep. Joe Walsh To Challenge Trump In 2020 GOP Primary
WASHINGTON - Former Rep. Joe Walsh, once a backer of President Trump, said Sunday he would mount a Republican primary challenge to the president because "we can't take four more years of Donald Trump." Appearing on ABC's "This Week," the former Illin
Los Angeles Times4 min read
Dylan Hernandez: The Bottom Line Is That Without Kenley Jansen, The Dodgers Can't Win The World Series
LOS ANGELES_A wave of relief swept over Dodger Stadium as Kenley Jansen slapped his chest in triumph. Disaster was averted. A day after the Dodgers watched the New York Yankees destroy their No. 1 starter, they limited their visitors to a solitary ru
Los Angeles Times3 min readSociety
L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy Faked Being Shot By A Sniper, Authorities Say
LOS ANGELES - A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy falsely claimed last week he was shot by a sniper at the Lancaster sheriff's station. He'll now be the subject of a criminal investigation, officials said late Saturday. The dramatic twist in the ca