A singed wedding ring was a glimmer of hope for a California family who lost six homes in the wildfires over the last several days.
California Department of Fish and Wildlife Officer Jake Olsen went back into the rubble where he, his wife and their four children once lived and found the wedding ring his wife left behind.
“There it is,” Olsen said. “It’s just amazing. I just didn’t think that we were going to find it, but we had to try. And [my friend] said, ‘Hey, here it is man,’ so it’s pretty cool.’”
When Olsen went back to look for the debris, his wife said she left her wedding ring on a countertop with a sink. Even though the kitchen is no longer standing, Olsen and his friend were able to track down her ring by digging in that general spot.
“It’s just a miracle,” he said.
He explained that when fire threatened his town of Paradise, he rushed to help evacuate a retirement community, loading three patients into his pickup truck while his partner rode in the back with a fourth patient under a fire blanket.
Meanwhile, his wife and children evacuated.
Olsen later discovered several other members of their family, including his parents, uncle and parents-in-law, grandparents-in-law and sister-in-law also lost their homes in the fire.
A local church is now providing them food, shelter and clothing for the time being.
“You can’t understand it until you’re here,” Olsen said of the tragedy. “You can’t fathom it in your mind. It’s just too much to take in.”
The family is now raising money on GoFundMe to rebuild.