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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Saskatchewan Party outlines new home renovation tax credit as first election promise

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© Provided by The Canadian Press

SASKATOON — Saskatchewan Party Leader Scott Moe is promising to bring in a new tax credit for home renovations if his party is re-elected.

Moe says he believes the credit would help drive the economy and make renovations more affordable — key themes of his campaign for the Oct. 26 vote.

Homeowners would be able to claim about 11 per cent on up to $20,000 worth of renovation-related expenses between Oct. 1 and the end of 2022.

The Saskatchewan Party says the credit would save people up to $2,100 and cost the province $124 million over two years.

Moe says the credit would benefit the economy by encouraging people to spend money and hire for building.

He made the announcement in Saskatoon, one of the cities considered an election battleground.

More specifically, he was in the NDP-held constituency of Saskatoon Riversdale along with the party’s candidate.

That seat belonged to former NDP premiers Roy Romanow and Lorne Calvert and was won by the New Democrats in the 2016 election, but by less than 250 votes.

Moe has said he believes the Saskatchewan Party connects with urban voters, despite losses in recent byelections and some narrow victories in 2016.

NDP Leader Ryan Meili was also to be in Saskatoon for an announcement about taxes before travelling to Prince Albert to talk about health and infrastructure.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 30, 2020

The Canadian Press

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