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Embattled Debris-Removal Company Helps Rebuild Wall Destroyed In Wildfires

SANTA ROSA (KPIX) - The wall around Coffey Park, destroyed in 2017's North Bay wildfires, may be rebuilt at no cost to homeowners thanks to a company that has come under fire for not doing enough.

The burned lots have been cleared for months and rebuilding has begun, but for those living in Coffey Park, the first thing they see when coming home is still a torched, crumbling wall.

"It just needs to come down," says Coffey Strong board member Steve Rahmn. "It looks pathetic."

This week, it finally will. The group Coffey Strong is working with Rebuild Northbay Foundation to demo, clear and rebuild the crumbling wall that runs along Hopper Avenue, without asking the homeowners to pay for it.

"There's 42 homeowners, most of them well-underinsured," said Rahmn. "This could have broken them and had them not able to rebuild."

The Hopper Walls Project could have cost neighbors $24,000 each. Now an outside donor has come to save the day, and possibly save face.

The debris removal company Ashbritt has opted to foot the bill as part of a way to give back to the community.

Back in January, KPIX reported that Ashbritt was under scrutiny by city officials for its environmental and safety standards. Ashbritt had also filed a contract protest with the Army Corps of Engineers that delayed debris removal.

"I can't speak to if that was fairly done, or not -- the situation with the contracts with Cal OES, Army Corps or FEMA -- but I do know this is their effort to prove they're not just in it for the money," said Rahmn.

They've contracted with a company called RSG 3D to rebuild the wall. It is set to start going up just after the wildfire's October 8 anniversary.

The website says the new wall will be earthquake resistant, fireproof and can stand up to a tornado -- a fittingly resilient wall, for such a resilient neighborhood.

"It helps the entire community that has to drive by something that's uniform and pleasing to the eye, because it is representational of the community of Coffey Park."

The final tab will be over a $1 million.

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