PARADISE (CBS SF) — Three employees of a San Leandro construction company were fired Saturday for posting insensitive photos on social media from the wreckage left behind in Paradise by the deadly Camp Fire.
In a statement released to KPIX 5, Randy Smith, San Leandro-based Bigge Crane and Rigging Co. Corporate Counsel, said the photos were “abhorrent.”
“We have identified three participants in this abhorrent event and their employment has been terminated,” the statement read. “Bigge expects its employees and contractors to work with the utmost integrity and professionalism. The behavior of these individuals is not consistent with our company values and ethical code.”
“Bigge regrets that the residents of Paradise and Butte County have suffered an egregious insult during an already devasting time at the hands of these three individuals. Bigge supports and appreciates all our surrounding communities.”
Bigge had been hired by Pacific Gas & Electric to help the utility with its clean-up effort.
“We learned of the reprehensible and unfortunate actions of a third-party contractor in the Paradise area today,” the utility said in a statement. “The individual who made the social media posts worked for a sub-contractor to a prime contractor for PG&E. Immediate action was taken and this individual is no longer working on the Camp Fire response or associated with PG&E.”
Paradise officials posted on Facebook that police were looking into charges against the three workers.
“This is unacceptable and reprehensible behavior. Town leadership has contacted this subject’s employer and he will no longer be working in our Town. The Paradise Police Department is looking into criminal charges.#NotInMyTown #ParadiseStrong #RidgeRecovers”
Several images were posted including a photo of someone’s beloved burned deceased cat with a beer bottle placed up to its mouth with this caption:
“Dude… I was just chilling with my homies, having a couple of cold ones, and BAM… damn fire breaks out.”
The wildfire, the deadliest in California history, broke out on Nov. 8, killing at least 86 people and destroying 14,000 homes in Paradise and nearby communities in the Sierra Nevada foothills.
On Saturday, all evacuation orders but warned Paradise residents that the town had limited services and advised residents to use power generators and have enough food, water and fuel for their vehicles.
The Butte County health officer issued an advisory strongly urging people not to live on destroyed property until it is declared clear of hazardous waste, ash and debris.