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Crews Begin Grim Search For Remains In Santa Rosa Fire Rubble

SANTA ROSA (KPIX 5) -- Dozens of search and rescue personnel on Friday were scouring the site of a mobile home park in Santa Rosa where some of the people missing from the North Bay firestorm were last seen.

Search and recovery teams were using the addresses of the missing to make targeted searches in the Fountain Grove community. Officers found bone fragments of one person Friday morning.

At one point, investigators were seen scooping up what appeared to be human remains into a body bag. Search and rescue crews also found the human remains in a bed.

It appeared the person was asleep or bed-ridden.

"It's just heartbreaking. It happened so fast. There's nothing you can do," said Nicholas Strika, an area resident who lost his home to fire.

The recovery happened at the Journey's End mobile home park.

Searchers were specifically checking two known addresses of two missing people.

"We're starting from the bedroom, because the fire started at night.  A lot of people were in their bedroom," explained Sgt. Spencer Crum with the Sonoma County Sheriff's office.

The crews went through every part of the targeted homes, even lifting up collapsed roofs. Cadaver dogs then go through the debris to sniff for human remains.

Hundreds of people lived at the mobile home park. Many were seniors living by themselves.

"If we only have two dead here, we'll consider ourselves lucky," said Crum.

Residents who lost their homes at Journey's End were on hand helping authorities in the search, guiding personnel to the locations of the specific mobile homes where missing individuals lived.


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