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3 years later, Tubbs Fire survivors seek justice after contractors allegedly fail to rebuild homes

It has been three long years since Sonoma County’s Tubbs Fire nightmare.

3 years later, Tubbs Fire survivors seek justice in alleged home rebuild fraud

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It feels like yesterday to those who survived.

For a crowd gathered with signs outside the Sonoma County courthouse Friday morning, it feels more like an eternity.

“I’m still not over it. PTSD for three years, now,” said Ellen Lencher.

She and others in the crowd lost homes in the fire and money, they say, to Sal and Pam Chiaramonte.

RELATED: Santa Rosa contractor Chiaramonte Construction responds to complaints about rebuilds of homes destroyed in Tubbs Fire

The contractors from Tulare County promised to rebuild 39 houses at Central Valley prices. They did not deliver on most of them.

“And even after the time the realized they would not be able to do what they promised, they continued to take money from people,” said attorney Richard Freeman, who represents many of the victims in a civil suit.

Friday’s scheduled court appearance provided the first time that many of the Chiaramonte’s customers had seen the couple since signing their papers.

The contractors answered no questions.

“No we are not allowed to say anything,” said Sal Chiaramonte, though he and his wife did hear an earful.

VIDEO: ‘Two years stronger together:’ Tubbs Fire survivors reflect on firestorm anniversary

“Scumbag. You’re not even man enough to look at us,” shouted one man in the crowd.

“We’re not going away,” added another.

Elsewhere, the Santa Rosa Fire Department rang a ceremonial bell 24 times in honor of 24 lives lost that night.

More than 5,000 homes burned. Almost a quarter of them were in Coffey Park, where the Chiaramontes set up shop, as Pam told us in the spring in 2019.

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3 years later, Sonoma County Tubbs Fire survivors seek justice after contractors allegedly fail to deliver on promise to rebuild homes

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) — It has been three long years since Sonoma County’s Tubbs Fire nightmare.

It feels like yesterday to those who survived.

For a crowd gathered with signs outside the Sonoma County courthouse Friday morning, it feels more like an eternity.

“I’m still not over it. PTSD for three years, now,” said Ellen Lencher.

She and others in the crowd lost homes in the fire and money, they say, to Sal and Pam Chiaramonte.

RELATED: Santa Rosa contractor Chiaramonte Construction responds to complaints about rebuilds of homes destroyed in Tubbs Fire

The contractors from Tulare County promised to rebuild 39 houses at Central Valley prices. They did not deliver on most of them.

“And even after the time the realized they would not be able to do what they promised, they continued to take money from people,” said attorney Richard Freeman, who represents many of the victims in a civil suit.

Friday’s scheduled court appearance provided the first time that many of the Chiaramonte’s customers had seen the couple since signing their papers.

The contractors answered no questions.

“No we are not allowed to say anything,” said Sal Chiaramonte, though he and his wife did hear an earful.

VIDEO: ‘Two years stronger together:’ Tubbs Fire survivors reflect on firestorm anniversary

“Scumbag. You’re not even man enough to look at us,” shouted one man in the crowd.

“We’re not going away,” added another.

Elsewhere, the Santa Rosa Fire Department rang a ceremonial bell 24 times in honor of 24 lives lost that night.

More than 5,000 homes burned. Almost a quarter of them were in Coffey Park, where the Chiaramontes set up shop, as Pam told us in the spring in 2019.

RELATED: Tubbs Fire victims say contractor is not making good on their rebuilds

“We’re not some

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St. John’s fashion designer Rod Philpott’s bathroom-tissue ballgown is a tribute to breast cancer survivors | Regional-Lifestyles | Lifestyles

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. —

Not even the COVID-19 pandemic can spur an appreciation for toilet paper like Rod Philpott can.

Thousands upon thousands of cherry blossom petals, hand-punched and waxed and curled and intricately sewn to form a haute couture gown worthy of a New York runway — that’s Philpott’s latest project, and it’s all made from bathroom tissue.

Philpott, a native of the north-central Newfoundland town Point of Bay, was one of 15 fashion designers from across the country and the only one from this province invited to participate in this year’s Cashmere Collection Masquerade Ball in Toronto. The annual fashion show — which happened online this year — features original bathroom tissue couture created from Cashmere toilet paper, raising awareness and funds for the breast cancer cause through the Canadian Cancer Society.

With a 16th-century Venetian masquerade theme, the event focused on gowns and another hot item in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic: the mask.

Philpott’s concept blended fashion with a poignant tribute to breast cancer survivors. Created on a base of nude netting, his bathroom tissue gown included about 3,000 eight-layer tissue and rhinestone cherry blossoms cascading from the shoulder and down a corset bodice, tumbling into another 5,000 or so petals scattered onto a structured ballgown skirt. The blossoms represent feminine beauty and the fragility of life, while his choice of inspiration for the accompanying mask — a fencing mask — represents strength and a fight.

“We had toilet paper everywhere,” Philpott says with a smile. “There was actually more I wanted to do with this dress, but I ran out of time.”


St. John's fashion designer Rod Philpott (left) is known for his unique wedding gowns, custom work and trademark corsets. He and his husband, Christopher Philpott (right), and junior designer Erica Dawe (centre), shown here in their downtown studio, recently created a 16th-century Venetian masquerade-style ballgown from bathroom tissue for the 2020 Cashmere Collection fashion show, which aired online from Toronto earlier this week. - Contributed
St. John’s fashion designer Rod Philpott (left) is known for his unique wedding gowns, custom work and trademark corsets. He and his husband, Christopher Philpott (right), and junior designer Erica Dawe (centre),
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