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Lone Restaurant Left Standing After Camp Fire Became Refuge For Town

PARADISE (CBS13) — The Camp Fire tore through scores of structures, but one building that was left standing serves as a reminder of resilience.

Sophia's Thai Restaurant became more than a place to get a hot meal, it was a place of refuge for people who lost everything, including the owners.

Lok Keobouahom runs the front of the house. His wife, Khek, can be found in the kitchen, serving up perhaps the only hot dish in Paradise.

The couple moved here 15 years ago with their two daughters, Maya and Polly. The restaurant and the family house next door survived the Camp Fire, but officials declared the town's water supply unsafe.

READ: Retiring From Paradise: One Year After The Fires, Paradise Unified Superintendent Says Goodbye

"How are we going to open? How are we going to support our community?" he said.

So, Keobouahom teamed up with other area businesses, helping and supporting each other. They had a plan, they bought a water tank, shipping in 2,000 gallons from a water trucking company every month. That solution allowed them to stay open and loyal customers noticed.

The friends who have moved away come back to visit and see how Paradise will rebuild.

Much of the town's water supply is no longer contaminated with Benzene, and in recent months, at least three other restaurants and bars have reopened.

Other food trucks are slowly popping up around town.

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