ALPINE, Calif., (KGTV) — It has been more than 24 hours since the West Fire in Alpine broke out. Some evacuated residents are being let back into their homes, once they are deemed safe by the fire department and electric companies.
10News met Alpine resident, Linda Lafrance as she was walking onto her driveway. She was working in Point Loma yesterday when she got a call from her friend, saying that her home was inches away from the fire.
“I looked online, and saw there were evacuations behind Albertsons, so I said, uh-oh, that’s not good,” Lafrance said.
Her home was in the evacuation zone. So after work, she said she spent the night at her mother’s home in El Cajon. All she could do was pray that it was still standing.
Today, we went through the broken side fence and walked onto her backyard. This was the first time she had been to her home since the fire started.
“Oh my…” she said.
She was taken aback by the view, or lack thereof.
“It used to have lots of vegetation there. It used to be all full,” she said while pointing at the hillside behind her home.
What is left now, is a dark and barren dirt-scape. There are no homes below. Just slabs of foundation and a horse stable that miraculously survived the blaze.
LaFrance is one of the lucky ones. Her home is still standing. The fence that separates her and her neighbor is warped. But the b bulk of her property avoided significant damage. She believes it may be thanks to her gardener who cleared all the vegetation in the yard, just two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, her next door will return to an entirely different story. Their home is one of 18 structures destroyed by the West Fire. The roof had collapsed. The cars are burned. There are no more rooms. The front porch is the only recognizable part of the home. There is a piece of mail, delivered on their chair.
“I’m thinking somebody’s looking out for us. Because I can see it was really really close. We are very fortunate,” Lafrance said.