Camp Fire clean-up workers fired after posting insensitive photos with wreckage

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By Daniella Silva

Three employees of a construction company helping to clear the wreckage of the deadliest wildfire in California history were fired after posting insensitive photos from properties destroyed by the blaze.

Photos posted Saturday to the Facebook page of the Town of Paradise, which was destroyed by the deadly Camp Fire that killed 88 people, showed workers posing with damaged property. One photo showed the body of a burned cat with a beer bottle placed near its mouth with the caption, “Dude… I was just chilling with my homies, having a couple of cold ones, and BAM… damn fire breaks out.”

“This is unacceptable and reprehensible behavior,” the Town of Paradise wrote on its Facebook page, adding that the Paradise Police Department was looking into criminal charges.

Construction company Bigge Crane and Rigging issued a statement Saturday saying it had identified three people who participated in “this abhorrent event” and that their employment had been terminated.

The company said in its statement that it “expects its employees and contractors to work with the utmost integrity and professionalism.”

“Bigge regrets that the residents of Paradise and Butte County have suffered an egregious insult” during an already devastating time, the company added.

An earlier post by the company said it regretted the “insensitive and reprehensible” actions of an employee named Rob Freestone. Bigge said Freestone had been removed from the Camp Fire recovery effort.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co., which subcontracted Bigge, did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Earlier this month, a civil complaint accused the electric company of failing to properly maintain a tower near the town of Pulga in Butte County, which allowed a live wire to come loose on the morning of Nov. 8 and touch off the devastating Camp Fire.

Daniella Silva is a reporter for NBC News. She started at in September of 2013.

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