Woman Who Lost Home in Wildfire Says Finding Wedding Rings in Rubble Gives 'a Little Hope'
A family in California lost their home to the LNU Lightning Complex Fire, but they’ve found a silver lining in a symbol of hope that emerged unscathed from the rubble.
Chloe Carroll thought her wedding rings were gone for good after she left them in her Vacaville home while fleeing the massive flames that eventually engulfed the entire property early Wednesday.
“I knew I took it off in the bathroom,” she told NBC affiliate KCRA of her rings. “And I put it in my little wicker cabinet when I was washing my hands.”
She and her husband, Jason, left the home with their sons amid the fast-moving blaze, which Carroll said resembled a “tornado of flames” stretching taller than the trees.
After reaching safety, Carroll told the outlet that she and Jason drove back to their Solano County house to see if there were any items they could salvage — only to find everything burned to the ground.
“I just thought of everything … my kids’ ultrasound photos, my kids’ footprints from their birth,” she told KCRA. “I thought for sure [my rings] would be gone. I thought they’d be melted.”
With some help from aunt Denise Pennington, the family on Friday began digging through the remains of the property, which had been in the family for years and contained two homes, both built by Carroll’s father, according to a GoFundMe page. He lived in the second home.
It only took 30 minutes for Denise to strike gold – she discovered Carroll’s rings completely intact, right where the bathroom once stood, KCRA reported.
“I got something. I got something that I thought was completely gone,” the grateful mom told the outlet. “It gives you a little bit of, ‘Alright, we can do this.’ It gives you a little hope.”
A GoFundMe page for the Carroll family has so far raised more than $13,000 to help kickstart their attempts to rebuild.
“This family would do anything for anyone without question and has been there for our family and many others close to us for a very long time,” the page said. “We would like to come together and help them in any way we can.”
Their homes were two of the at least 222 structures destroyed in Solano County by the LNU Lightning Complex Fire, which began on Aug. 17, according to the Solano County Sheriff's Office.
The fire has burned more than 350,000 acres since then across five different counties, and remains just 22 percent contained, according to CalFire.
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