Watch CBS News

'It's Absolutely Devastating': North Complex Fire Heavily Damages Camp For Children With Cancer

Berry Creek (CBS13) — A beloved Northern California camp was damaged in the North Complex West Zone Fire this week.

Camp Okizu welcomed children with cancer and tailors the camping experience to families who need a little extra love and support. But now the camp may need some support of its own after the North Complex West Zone Fire devastated the grounds.

Camp Okizu holds a special place in the hearts of so many families.

Heike Henry's son Nathan was diagnosed with leukemia when he was just two and a half years old.

"He was three years old. He had just finished a really heavy round of chemo," Henry said. "He was bald we were overwhelmed we had no place to go."

READ: Families Search For Missing Loved Ones After Fire Burns Through Berry Creek

That's when they found Camp Okizu.

"We went there as a family over a weekend and it changed our lives," he said.

Nathan was a camper for years, now a 16-year-old soccer star in Sacramento, he was looking forward to giving back to a place that gave him so much.

But the camp is now facing a fight of its own after part of the North Complex Fire swept through the campgrounds. CBS13 was able to gain access to the campgrounds with permission from board member Hanna Malak. CBS13 showed him the now devastated campsite over a video call.

"That looks like our lodge so the chimney is still standing. This is where we do our meals usually serve the food in there we have her dance on Friday nights during summer camp," Malak told CBS13 as our crew walked through the grounds.  "It's absolutely devastating it's hard to see."

ALSO: 'This Breaks Your Heart': Animals Rescued After Fire Blows Through Berry Creek

They are hoping to rebuild with the support of the families who call Camp Okizu home.

Nathan's father Pat Henry says if he could tell the camp staff one more thing, he would say thank you.

"I will tell them thank you. Thank you for saving our son's life," Pat Henry said.

Malak says no one lives on the campgrounds specifically though some of the staff members live in the area. All were able to evacuate safely.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.