Wedding ring is only thing to survive home burned by California wildfires: 'I don’t have anything except for this'
A wedding ring found in debris from fires burning through Los Angeles is offering hope to California residents.
The ring, which belonged to Patty Shales' late mother, was the only thing from her home to survive the Getty Fire. And this isn't the first time the ring made it through a fire unscathed.
While wading through debris, the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) spotted a small ring box in the gutter near the only home destroyed on the street. The box was "sitting there all by itself," the fire department wrote on Facebook.
After opening the box, they found a ring that they knew "would be very important to the homeowner." The fire department set out to find the owner of the ring and LAFD assistant chief Jaime Moore eventually got it back to Shales.
"I had the unfortunate task of telling her that her house had been destroyed," Moore said during a press conference. “But I asked her to, ‘Hold on a minute, I might have something [for you].'"
Shales was "speechless and beyond happy" to have the ring back, the LAFD said on Facebook.
LAFD spokesperson Margaret Stewart told TODAY Style that after all California has gone through with the brush fires, people see the ring as "a symbol of hope."
The ring belonged to Shales' late mother, who lived in the house when it was destroyed by the Bel Air fire in 1961, LAFD said. The ring was passed on to Shales, who lived in a home rebuilt in the same spot where the mother’s burned down.
"I feel like she sent me this to tell me that she’s in heaven and she’s OK, and I’m going to be OK," Shales said at a press conference. "I totally feel that spiritual connection."
Now, 58 years later, the ring is once again the sole survivor of another fire.
“I don’t have anything, except for this," Shales added.