Wildfire Cleanup Workers Fired for 'Reprehensible' Photos

One of them joked about the remains of a dead pet
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2018 1:30 AM CST
Updated Dec 17, 2018 5:59 AM CST
Wildfire Cleanup Workers Fired for 'Reprehensible' Photos
Homes leveled by the Camp Fire line the Ridgewood Mobile Home Park retirement community in Paradise, Calif., on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018.   (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Three wildfire cleanup workers in California have been fired for clowning around in the ruins of people's homes and posting what the town of Paradise calls "reprehensible" photos on social media. One photo shows the burned remains of a pet cat with a bottle near its mouth and the caption: "Dude… I was just chilling with my homies, having a couple of cold ones, and BAM… damn fire breaks out," NBC News reports. Another shows a worker jumping on burned trampoline, with the caption: "Trampolines are stupid. (By the way), it used to be called a Jumpoline until your mom got on it." The town recently began allowing residents to return after the devastating Camp Fire, which killed at least 88 people.

The town of Paradise shared the photos in a Facebook post and promised that Rob Freestone, the worker seen in many of them "will no longer be working in our town." Bigge Crane and Rigging Co., which had been subcontracted by the PG&E utility for Camp Fire cleanup, says Freestone and two other workers have been fired. In a statement, the company said it regrets that residents have suffered an "egregious insult" at an already difficult time. Paradise police spokesman Matt Gates says the department is looking into filing charges, the Redding Record Searchlight reports. "It's shocking. It’s disheartening," Gates says. "It’s the type of thing no one needs to see right before they come into town." (A dog guarded the ruins of a Paradise home for weeks.)

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