Theft rampant in the rubble of the Holiday Farm Fire

As if they hadn't lost enough, victims of the Holiday Farm Fire are now having to fight off thieves who are sifting through what's left of their homes.

Posted: Oct 6, 2020 9:07 PM

BULE RIVER, Ore. -- As if they hadn't lost enough, victims of the Holiday Farm Fire are now having to fight off thieves who are sifting through what's left of their homes.

"These people have lost their homes, their lives, everything they've ever worked for and people are coming on their property taking their possessions, and it's against the law, it's criminal trespassing," said Jarod Taylor, a Blue River resident. 

Taylor said he and his wife have had to literally chase people off of their friend's property when they saw them stealing and taking photos. 

"We just want to give a reminder to the community that that private property is still private. If you wouldn't walk onto somebody's property when the house is standing you shouldn't be walking onto somebody's property post-disaster such as the Holiday Farm Fire," said Sgt. Carrie Carver with the Lane County Sheriff's Office. 

Carver said the sheriff's office has received several calls about thieves and trespassers in the Holiday Farm Fire wreckage. 

"Give us enough space here in Blue River to actually process this grief and get through it because having to deal with this and the losses we're already suffering is too much," Taylor said.

Others are volunteering to put up "no trespass signs" around the area to steer thieves away. 

"I know some precious metals have been stolen, people had been saving some silver or gold and it melted and people used metal detectors to come through and find it just days after the fire happened," said volunteer Tyee Burwell. "I've seen people being very disrespectful and posing in front of the wreckage of people's homes, and these are people's lives their entire lives are gone, up in smoke, and people need to be respectful of that."

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