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Couple first to move into home in wildfire-damaged county

June 29, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Northern California couple was the first to finalize their permits to move back to their property, which was destroyed by a devastating wildfire six months ago, officials announced Friday.

Kathy and Richard Towne received a certificate of occupancy for their one-story home on Ishi Drive in Magalia, said Casey Hatcher, Butte County’s deputy chief administrative officer.

It’s unclear whether they have moved in because the couple declined to be interviewed.

The Townes weren’t the first to receive a building permit after the Nov. 8 fire destroyed 14,000 homes in Paradise and neighboring towns.

However, Hatcher said they’re the first to finalize their permit because their home was completed off-site and transported to their property. Additionally, a new line connected from a meter to their home is carrying potable water.

The county has issued 20 building permits and Paradise issued another 65, signaling more activity in the rebuilding effort.

“We’re excited to see the momentum,” Hatcher said. “We’re ready to receive permit applications and help people get through the process.”

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