Family Finds Precious Heirloom in Ashes of Camp Fire

A family who escaped the Camp Fire searched for two days and found a precious family heirloom hidden in the ashes.

Posted: Dec 27, 2018 1:21 PM

BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - A family who escaped the Camp Fire searched for two days and found a precious family heirloom hidden in the ashes.

Paradise fire victims Heather Thornewood, and her husband Larry Willis, weren't sure they'd ever see a precious family ring again after the Camp Fire destroyed their home. 

"That's amazing that we were able to find it again," Thornewood said. "We got up there and it was like 'oh my goodness.' This is going to be hard. I didn't expect such a level of devastation." 

The couple escaped the Camp Fire with their two daughters and pets but left all of their other possessions inside the burned home. The family ring was the only item they were desperate to find. 

"Legitimately pretty much everything else can be replaced," Thornewood said. "But the ring wasn't, the ring's not replaceable." 

The family spent two days searching the ash of their home, starting in the area that they believe the ring's jewelry box would have been located. 

"All of the sudden this diamond just sparkles," she said. "I was like 'oh my gosh!' It took my breath away." 

A Paradise family who lost their home found a treasured piece of history. While the ring is tarnished and blackened, it still has life and can now also serve as this family's Camp Fire survival story for generations to come. 

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