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Valley Fire victim calls horses' survival a 'miracle'

Posted at 4:52 PM, Sep 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-07 21:35:17-04

JAMUL, Calif. (KGTV) - A Jamul woman whose home was destroyed by the Valley Fire is grateful for the "miracle" just feet from her burned house.

Around 4 p.m. Saturday, single mom Kimberlee Jones was with her kids, ages 5 and 3, inside their home on Bunny Drive when she smelled the smoke.

"The plume was huge, black and brown. The wind was carrying it over the house and I knew we were in big trouble," said Jones.

She saw the towering flames a few miles away, as sirens began blaring on her street.


“They’ve asked to make sure that I pin them. And you can buy a new uniform, yeah, but you’d like to wear the one you wore,” he said, holding back tears."The flames seemed like they were walking as they went from one bush to the next. I screamed, ran inside, and grabbed my kids," said a tearful Jones.

With no time to take anything, Jones put her kids and their dog in the truck, drove off, and got to safety. About an hour later, she and a friend tried to go back with a trailer for her horses, 11 of them in several outside paddocks. A few miles from her home, she was turned away by deputies. She took a photo of the raging flames, which had moved past her property. She didn't know the fate of home and horses.

"I just kept praying things would be okay. From the direction of the fire and the winds, I knew we probably would not have a home to go home to," said Jones.

A day later, the fears about her home were confirmed. Animal rescue crews, which included a neighbor, snapped a photo of her home of five years, burned to the foundation.


"Felt devastated. There's nothing left," said Jones.

But near the ashes, about 50 feet away and not far from some burned fences, a rescuer made a remarkable discovery: The horses were in their paddocks, alive.

"It's a miracle all of my horses made it out and no worse for wear," said Jones.

Jones is now bracing herself for the long road to recovery. She says she will always be grateful.

"The things I could never replace are alive and well. It's incredible we're all okay," said Jones.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help the Jones family with their recovery.