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International Relief Teams volunteers rebuild homes in Paradise after devastating fires

The 2018 wildfires in California were the deadliest and most destructive in the state's history.

SAN DIEGO — Volunteers deployed by International Relief Teams (IRT) just arrived after a two-week trip and they shared what their experiences were like Sunday.

The 2018 wildfires in California were the deadliest and most destructive in the state's history. About 30,000 families lost their homes and livelihoods and their hopes for the future. Only 5% of the buildings in Paradise remained without serious damage.

"It's outrageous to see what's happened," said IRT volunteer, Ken Marsh.

Sunday, a group of 8 construction volunteers from the International Relief Teams, a nonprofit humanitarian organization dedicated to helping rebuild and repair communities to victims from the Camp Fire who cannot recover on their own, arrived at San Diego International Airport after spending two weeks in Paradise.

"It's just bare earth and frozen in time. They are finally starting to build in Paradise," said IRT volunteer, John Zawis.

The volunteers say they helped build three homes, two including the roofs and one from the ground up. They help families who are elderly, low income or living on a fixed budget.

"They get a grant and interest free loan for 30 years. We provide the labor which is free," said Marsh. "It's very rewarding and, you know, I'm retired and I'm able to give back and this is one of the ways I do. We love it. We all do. We work hard and we enjoy doing it."

"We're happy to be out and help people out again. We love to be out with each other," said Zawis.

   

WATCH RELATED: Paradise Fire survivors struggle in San Diego (May 14, 2019)