SAN DIEGO - As the 10-year anniversary of one of the largest wildfires in California approaches, volunteers in Scripps Ranch are reaching out to their neighbors to promote fire safety.
Almost 10 years ago, James Paterniti and Mary Drummond's home was demolished.
There was only a gate left standing after the Cedar Fire made its way to the Scripps Ranch neighborhood.
"We grabbed the computers, the cats and a bag of clothes," said Paterniti.
The fire killed 15 people, including a firefighter. It was so intense that it torched more than 2,000 homes, causing more than $32 million in damage.
"You can rationalize it by saying it's just stuff and we got out with our lives, and that’s all important, but in terms of preparedness, we weren't as prepared as we should have been," said Paterniti.
That is why his family joined 50 volunteers who went door-to-door passing out information reminding residents about safe guarding their home from fire danger, just a week before the Cedar Fire anniversary.
Drummond said she is glad she can help others learn from her experience.
"You're never prepared," she said. "You think you are but you're really not. You're very scared and you can't think."
It was a reminder that many neighbors appreciated.
Even though it took more than two years to rebuild, Paterniti and Drummond are back home making sure they are also better prepared in case there is another fire.