‘Rebuilding Paradise’ shares Camp Fire survivor's story of losing her home: Part 2

Nicole Hoenig, her father and her daughter were living in an RV after their home was destroyed in the wildfire. They were among nearly 50,000 people displaced in Butte County. She now lives in Nevada.
6:40 | 08/01/20

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Transcript for ‘Rebuilding Paradise’ shares Camp Fire survivor's story of losing her home: Part 2
The day of the fire, we were in this neighborhood surrounded by flames. It's surreal coming back here, where some homeowners have decided to rebuild. Others are still living in rvs. I love paradise. It's everything I know. Reporter: Nicole was born and raised in paradise. We first met her weeks after the deadliest fire in California history destroyed her home. Trying to make Christmas special for her then 2-year-old daughter. We're trying to have a Christmas. You know, any way, shape, or form that we can. It's everyone trying to do the best they can. Trying to give your kids whatever you can to help them feel normal. Reporter: Her father was living in this rv in a parking lot. I came in to this life with nothing, I'll leave with nothing. I'm perfectly set. Reporter: This box, all that was left of their family's mementos. More than anything I can is explain. It means the world to be able to pass something down to her. Reporter: Just 3 of roughly 50,000 people displaced by the camp fire. Housing became a major issue. 13% of the homes in the county destroyed by the fire. Price gouging and bidding wars over remaining housing became the norm. Another concern -- toxins released from the fires. An unanticipated impact explored in the new film, "Rebuilding paradise". Paradise water may not be drinkable for up to three years. Reporter: Her daughter, now 4, has been having respiratory problems since the fire. It's from coughing, it gets kind of re-ignited every time another fire starts, or depending on the air quality and things like that. Reporter: How many times have you had to take her to the hospital because of lung issues in the past couple of years? She's had to be rushed to the hospital four separate times. One by ambulance. Reporter: I can only imagine the stress that goes along with that. Since we're in a pandemic right now. I have a lot of people in my family with compromised immune systems. So there's no one else other than me who can be there. So it's just -- yeah, it's been pretty stressful. Reporter: She and her family now live in Nevada, navigating a new normal. I think the fire was a kick in the pants to get out of my comfort zone and move forward and kind of let paradise be the town that I grew up in. And get back out into the rest of the world. Reporter: Her father still owns property there. But she says the challenges he's faced in rebuilding have taken a toll. Exacerbating his heart condition. I definitely think the stress of everything is definitely weighing on him. Reporter: That stress, something Michelle Johns' husband felt in the months following the fire. His heart was broken. No matter what I said, you helped save hundreds of lives, he was still sad beyond sad. It was hard for us to watch him, the last eight months. Reporter: Less than a year after the fire, Phil passed away from a heart attack. When you see Phil in the movie, what are your emotions when you are watching? Pride. Pride, love for a man who loved his community. And loved his kids. And absolute joy. Reporter: She has since retired as school superintendent, and moved to Reno to be closer with her grandchildren. But her last gift before leaving was to make sure the class of 2019 graduated on their home football field. Good evening. Can you believe that we are actually here on our beautiful paradise high school campus? They just kept saying, I can't believe you did this. I said, no, we did it together. And the kids said, this is all we wanted. I said, you have it. So enjoy every second of it. To celebrate and welcome the paradise high school graduating class of 2019 back to their home field. I certainly didn't think they would manage to get back on their high school field. But it became an issue that Michelle and others committed to as a symbol. The fact that we're here tonight to celebrate this milestone is a miracle. Because you survived one of the most destructive wildfires in our nation's history. It left us a different people. If you always say what is best for kids, you're not going to go wrong. You're going to keep going. It didn't seem like that much work, because it was for the love of your community and kids. You are the first generation of paradise high school graduates to rise from the ashes of what life was, and take a bold step forward into a new and uncertain future. But with what you've been through, you have what it takes to persevere. Congratulations, and good luck. We got through something that you think only happens to other people. That you can't even imagine happening to yourself. Or your community. And you just keep going. There's really no other choice. Reporter: Michelle, what is paradise's lasting legacy to you? Paradise is where we really learned what a community is, and how a community binds together and helps each other. I have pride in this town. I know it will take a long time, and it will never look the same. But it is going to come back.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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