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Woman who lost everything in destructive LA fire ‘grateful’ after fireman found her late mom’s ring

A woman who lost everything when the home her late husband built for her was burned to the ground was ‘speechless’ when a fireman reunited her with the antique wedding ring once worn by her recently-passed mom. 

Mom-of-two Patty Shales, 67, was one of the 10 homeowners affected by the Getty fires in Brentwood, Los Angeles last month. Patty and her daughter Blair ‘ran for their lives’ and only had time to grab their two dogs before their family home was destroyed. 

It was recently revealed that a Los Angeles Fire Department fireman stumbled across a tiny jewelry box floating in a pool of water near the gutter on the street. Reunited with the priceless and sentimental ring which belonged to her mom Dorothy, Patty said she was ‘blessed’ and ‘grateful’. 

Reunited: Fire Chief Jamie Moore, pictured, had to tell Patty Shales, left, that her home had been lost to a fire but the silver lining was that her late mom’s wedding ring had been found

Message: Patty, 67, said she felt as if the incredible find was a message from her mom telling her everything would be OK

Message: Patty, 67, said she felt as if the incredible find was a message from her mom telling her everything would be OK

Message: Patty, 67, said she felt as if the incredible find was a message from her mom telling her everything would be OK

Speaking to local news station KTLA, Patty pointed to the ring and said: ‘I don’t have anything, except for this’.

She continued: ‘I lived in this home for 43 years. Right before I left the house I could see a reflection of the fire that was already in the house.

Patty’s husband Gene, a physical therapist, had built the 7,000-square-foot home in 1976. He died in 2007. 

While four decades’ worth of personal items and memories were lost in the fire, the ring turning up was something of a silver lining for Patty. 

LAFD Fire Chief Jamie Moore had to tell Patty the devastating news that her home had been burnt to ash but he also had the honor of reuniting her with the wedding ring. 

Priceless: The family heirloom, pictured, dates back to the late 1950s

Priceless: The family heirloom, pictured, dates back to the late 1950s 

Found: Firefighters found the ring and gave it to Fire Chief Moore, who reunited Patty with the sentimental piece of jewelry

Found: Firefighters found the ring and gave it to Fire Chief Moore, who reunited Patty with the sentimental piece of jewelry 

‘When I saw that, I was overwhelmed with emotion. I feel that she sent me this to tell me that she’s in Heaven and she’s OK. And that I’m going to be OK. 

‘I just feel so blessed and so grateful to the firemen. He could have just ignored that box. Although I lost my home, I survived, my daughter survived and my dogs.  

Blair, who works in magazine publishing, wrote on Facebook that the finding was ‘miraculous’. 

‘We tragically lost our home in the Getty Fire [October 28]. I woke my mom after seeing the flames and we ran, literally, for our lives,’ she began. 

‘Outside, nearly 5,000 feet from its original location in a pool of water, [the fireman] found what was the only the to have survived the devastating fire, my late grandmother Dorothy McDonough’s wedding ring.’

Blair also shared that in 1994, the same ring was the only thing to have survived when Dorothy’s home burnt down in Las Vegas. 

The ring was purchased in the late 1950s by Patty’s father Vincent, 96. 

Emotional: The LAFD shared this image of Patty and Jamie Moore on their Facebook channels as the duo spoke about the 'miraculous' discovery

Emotional: The LAFD shared this image of Patty and Jamie Moore on their Facebook channels as the duo spoke about the ‘miraculous’ discovery 

Destroyed: Patty's daughter Blair shared photos of the family home burnt to the ground after the devastating fire

Destroyed: Patty's daughter Blair shared photos of the family home burnt to the ground after the devastating fire

Destroyed: Patty’s daughter Blair shared photos of the family home burnt to the ground after the devastating fire

Vincent had originally proposed to Dorothy with a ring purchased following his service in World War II, although that ring was lost in a garbage disposal. 

Making it even more incredible that the ring survived the fire was the fact that Patty said it was inside a jewelry box high up in her closet. 

She had placed it there after Dorothy passed away in November 2018 after a battle with cancer. 

Lucky: The ring which was owned by Patty's mom Dorothy, pictured, previously survived a house fire in the 1990s when the family lost everything else they owned

Lucky: The ring which was owned by Patty’s mom Dorothy, pictured, previously survived a house fire in the 1990s when the family lost everything else they owned

The Los Angeles Fire Department revealed that some of the homes that were claimed in the Getty fires were rebuilt version of ones that had been destroyed in 1961 during the devastating Bel Air fire. 

During the Getty fire, Lakers star Le Bron James was also evacuated from his home. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Getty fire began at 1.30 am and burned across 600 acres within five hours.  

The outlet reported that the basketball legend, 34, sent a taco trunk to first responders from the fire department on Tuesday.  

KTLA reported that Patty is currently staying in temporary housing while she liaises with her insurance company. 

She told the New York Times she plans to sell the lot when the debris is cleared. 

Earlier this week, she accompanied Fire Chief Moore to a dinner honoring the LAFD firefighters for their heroism. Of course, she was wearing the ring on the night.  

‘There’s just no way this could happen without God in it,’ she told the outlet. 

‘There’s no way – I didn’t get to save one thing.’  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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