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Fire claims one life, sends six others to burn centers

Theresa Humphrey
Staff Writer
Updated 12/27/2011

An early morning blaze just days before Christmas has left a Portola family of eight with one dead, six injured and their home destroyed.

Fire broke out in the mobile home at 417 W. Plumas Ave. Wednesday, Dec. 21, around 12:15 a.m., quickly engulfing the home and spreading to mobile homes on either side.

An elderly woman, 73-year-old Donna Richardson, died in the fire and seven others — Todd, 41, and Carla, 42, Barclay and their children Curtis, 18, Jeremy, 17, Zachary, 15, Makiah, 9, and Nolan, 7 — were treated at the scene. They were then transported to Eastern Plumas Health Care by EPHC and Plumas District Hospital ambulance services.

Six of the victims suffered moderate burns, and one was listed as critical. Out of the seven, CareFlight and CALSTAR helicopters flew six to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno. The seventh victim, Jeremy, was released from EPHC to a family member.      The victims were transported to two burn centers. Todd, Carla and Curtis were taken to UC Davis and Zachary, Makiah and Nolan were taken to the burn center at Shriner’s hospital in Sacramento. Makiah and Curtis required surgery and, according to sources close to the family, are recovering.

Members of Portola fire, Eastern Plumas fire, Beckwourth fire, Graeagle fire, Plumas Eureka fire and Sierra Valley fire responded to the blaze, which burned the mobile home to the ground and spread to the homes on either side of it. One of the other homes was unoccupied, and the residents of the other escaped unharmed.   Twenty-seven firefighters were on the scene and had most of the fire out by 8 a.m. Although the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office said the blaze began in the laundry room, the CalFire investigator said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

On Dec. 22 the fire reignited and Portola fire, one Delleker tanker and the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office were called out to handle it.

An account has been set up for the Barclay family at Plumas Bank in Portola, and the Firehouse Thrift Store has pledged to give the family whatever is needed in terms of household items. The Loyalton Assembly of God Church is collecting clothing donations for the family members. For those who would like to donate clothing, socks, etc., sizes are as follows:

—Todd: 3XL shirt, 48/32 pant, 12 wide shoe.

—Carla: 2XL shirt, L pant, 8 shoe.

—Curtis: L shirt, 34/30 pant, 13 shoe.

—Jeremy: 2XL shirt, 38/30 pant, 10-1/2 shoe.

—Zachary: M shirt, 16 slim pant, 9-1/2 shoe.

—Makiah: 10 shirt, 10 slim pant, 2 shoe.

—Nolan: 7/8 shirt, 7/8 pants, 2 shoe.

Donna Richardson is remembered for her talent as a pianist at the Loyalton Assembly of God Church and for teaching missionettes and writing music and all the church plays. She is also remembered as a music teacher in Portola.

Carla is a cafeteria worker in the schools and teaches missionettes. Todd is secretary of the church board. Curtis has worked as a lifeguard, and Jeremy works at Subway. Coworkers at Subway are donating all their tips to the family.

This will be a long recovery for the family but the community coming together to help make it easier.

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