Evacuated Alpine residents return home to nothing

Posted at 4:14 PM, Jul 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-08 21:23:59-04

ALPINE, Calif. (KGTV)-- Residents in Alpine are returning to their homes after CalFire San Diego officially lifted all evacuation orders Sunday afternoon. 10News met with a family, who unfortunately returned home to nothing. 

Lauren and Ed King moved to Alpine three years ago. After raising children in their Lakeside home for 26 years, they moved to Alpine. They loved the fresh air, the view of the canyon, and their lovely home.

 “It was like, our dream," Lauren King said. 

Friday, King was at the dentist when saw news reports about the West Fire. Her husband was at work but rushed home to save Freddie, their 10-year-old rescue dog. They did not have any time to gather anything else.

“We knew the house was going to catch fire, but we just didn’t think it was going to be the whole thing,” King cried.

CalFire said their home on Suncrest Vista Lane is one of 34 structures destroyed by the fire. It is also the only one that burned on their entire street.

The couple has been staying at the Valley View Casino hotel since Friday. The hotel made a special exception and allowed them to bring Freddie inside. The Kings had seen photos and videos of their home from friends and on television. But Sunday, they walked onto their property and saw it in person, for the first time since Friday.

“I don’t know where we can go," King said, lost in her own home.

The Kings lost everything. They said they took all precautions by making defensible space around their yard. But they believe their home caught fire, because of their small wooden fence. That lit up their trailer, parked in their yard, which eventually sparked onto their home. 

“We lost all of our kids' pictures… My mom and dad, when they passed away, I took all of their pictures, I have none of those now," King said. 

In the midst of destruction, the Kings saw a small sign of hope. She found her jewelry cabinet that was inside their bedroom, in their backyard. She said fire crews must have saved it and brought it out into the patio.

"Oh, my gosh, my jewelry is still in here. Amazing!" she smiled.

Inside of it, she was also able to find an important photo. It was a picture of her son as a baby, inside a locket necklace.

“There’s a picture of my little boy when he was a baby. He’s 30 now. There’s Kyle. A baby picture of Kyle is in there!! Yay!” she said.

The Kings have a long way to recovery. But they hope to one day, come back to what was once their dream home. 

“We’ll probably rebuild. Maybe rebuild the same house, just a little better. That’s all we can hope for," King said. 

The Kings are now working with their insurance adjuster to figure out what to do next. For now, they will take things one step at a time.