PARADISE, CA (KCTV) -- A metro family remained hopeful that the one dear friend they had in California, would be safe.
Sadly, that was not the case.
Investigators in Paradise, California announced last Friday that 70-year-old Paula and 67-year-old Randy Dodge, were among the dead in the camp fire.
Paula Dodge has a connection to the metro, she was raised in Kansas City, Kansas and graduated from Wyandotte High.
Her loved ones here in the metro are hurting.
"She just had an amazing personality …it’s like you never saw her when she didn’t have a smile on her face," said Cindy Francis, family friend.
Cindy Francis and Angela Williamson, grew up across the street from Dodge.
“I went and looked out the door and wait for her to come home and then I’d run across the street,” said Francis.
"I’d tag around with her and she just always made me feel welcomed and wanted and not ok it’s time for you to go home you know it wasn’t like that," explained Francis.
Years later when Dodge had a son of her own, Francis babysat for her.
"You know the whole family was just amazing people…you know we lived across the street from them for 18 years and she was just a big part of my life you know," said Francis.
"Everybody’s taking it really hard," said Angela Williamson, family friend.
Williamson has been in touch with Dodge's family and says they held onto hope for days that the two had escaped the horrific fires and just hadn't been able to call.
Firefighters searched their home twice, before making the call.
"We may never know what happened…but we just have to know that they were together," said Williamson.
The family says the Dodge’s had deep faith and that's what's kept them all strong.
"They went from paradise to paradise…and that’s what they have hung onto," said Williamson.
Paula’s brother still lives in the metro, he’s out in California now for the memorial services.