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.