For those who survived from the most deadliest and destructive wildfire in California history, the frightening dream of the Campfire did not end while the conflagration was extinguished. There are homes to rebuild, fire-engulfed trees to shredded down lives to represented. Therefore it is not completely stunning that the shifted people of Paradise, California did not find Rob Freestone’s images – or his maliciously heartless captions – specifically humorous.
In one picture, the derrick operator for a tree-cluttering service professed to jump on what used to be a backyard trampoline of the family. The caption was, “ Trampolines are stupid”.” BTW, it used to be called a Jumpoline until your mom got on it”. In another image, Freestone mounted a mailbox like a shape of firetruck: “I got to ride on a fire truck today”.
A third image highlighted Freestone’s thoughtful vest-wearing teammates sitting in the fire-devastated husk of a recreational vehicle. He wrote, “They’re off on a fun-filled vacation to unknown destinations in their new RV”.
The most graphic image features the corpse of someone’s cat with a seared bear bottle posed near its lips and the caption was “ Dude . . . I was just chilling with my homies, having a couple of cold ones, and BAM . . . fire breaks out”.
The images were taken in November, but the city of Paradise – and very briefly afterwards, the rest of the world uncovered them a month later. Infuriated dwellers reposted them on the website of the town, and sent angry messages to the employer of Freestone.
The town manager said in a posting on Facebook, “ This is unacceptable and reprehensible behaviour”. ”Town leadership has contacted this subject’s employer and [Rob Freestone] will no longer be working in our Town. The Paradise Police Department is looking into criminal charges”.
No charges have been declared. Freestone could not arrive for comment. More than 1,500 people have declared on the images, which were posted on a public group that served as a clean house for the residents for getting information about the recovery efforts. Multiple included the full name of Freestone, the name of his union and the company he served for. One woman wrote, “ He better get fired and arrested for his shameful behaviour how disrespectful can one man be”.
“Shame on you this ugly human being out doing his supposed job, per se, and clowning around about this horrific situation.”