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‘I Just Move Forward’: Families Survey Damage From Coastal Fire in Laguna Niguel

Tammie knew she had no choice. She and her family had to flee.

“I look outside … brown, red and orange plumes of smoke bellowing over the condo across street,” she said.

She got out with her 5-year-old and tried to convince them that a night at a Red Cross evacuation center was like a campout.

“What’s important is that everybody comes out alive.”

She did not lose her home, but two dozen others did.

Keith Morey says his Tesla was inside his three-car garage.

Neither he nor his wife were home when the Coastal Fire made it’s unwanted arrival.

Five bedrooms, four and a half baths and nine years of life under that roof are gone.

“You think I should be devastated,” he said. “I just move forward. Lingering on the past doesn’t do anybody any good.”

Firefighters salvaged a computer and the couple’s wedding photo.

Some homeowners count their blessings because their homes were saved but others feel lucky that small items survived. John Cadiz Klemack reports May 12, 2022.

“It’s a tragedy,” said Lynn Morey. “It’s making us stronger every day, every moment.

Across the street Sandy Vogel looked back on the house that once stood at 19 Coronado Pointe.

“That was the living room,” she said. “That was family room.”

It was the place where she raised a family and built decades of memories. She and her husband bought the house when it was new, 30 years ago.

Timelapse video shows the Coastal Fire spread at sundown.

“You can get through whatever devastation you’re dealt,” she said. “It’s not always easy but you can make it as long as you’re OK.”

Sassan Darian is being forced to start over.

“It looks like it’s completely demolished,” Darian said. “It might look like a horror zone. It might look like a movie, but everyone will be able to repair and replace.”

Gordon Richman, whose home was spared, was thankful.

“I’m very thankful and super grateful for the firefighters and their selfless dedication to take care of other people,” he said.

The only thing saved from Jane’s gutted home was an American flag folded and put into her mailbox.

“We saw it on the news,” she said. “We saw our house completely destroyed and our American flag was flying.

“And when we went by today it was gone and the pole was down. And they folded the flag, military fold, and put it in our mailbox. So, wherever we go, this is going to be the thing we frame on our wall.”

File source

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