SAN DIEGO - On the 10th anniversary of the Cedar Fire, a Scripps Ranch homeowner who lost practically everything in the fire says what his family did recover still means more to them than what they lost.
Ten years ago, the Cedar Fire destroyed David Froman's neighborhood in Scripps Ranch, including his home.
"It looked like a war zone," said Froman. "It was totally gone except for the chimneys."
On this anniversary, Froman is counting his blessings, beginning from the moment his family returned to dig through the rubble of what the fire left behind.
"We got a number of messages of hope in all that devastation," he said.
Froman showed 10News angel figurines his wife brought years ago because they reminded her of their kids. They were practically untouched by the fire.
The hand-embroidered message on a pillowcase they found in a chest with his wife's wedding dress reads, "God be with you when life's peril thick confound you."
"That, to us, was a signal that even in the midst of that, God was with us," he said.
On Sunday, Froman and other Scripps Ranch residents who survived the fire gathered at a nearby recreation center to remember the lives lost, the lives changed and to recognize the volunteers and friends who helped a community pick up the pieces.
"We still remember it and so do most of our neighbors as an event that changed our thinking, our living, our lives," said Froman.
He and his family rebuilt their home and moved back in August of 2005. The design is not the only thing that changed because of the fire.
"There's concrete shingles and the eves are enclosed so you don't have that updraft of sparks that caused the houses to burn from the top down," he said.
The fire destroyed more than 350 homes in the Scripps Ranch community. Froman says most of his neighbors did move back in and are still there today.