Ring That Survived 1961 Bel-Air Fire Found Amid Getty Fire Rubble

found ring

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Crews working the Getty Fire have salvaged a diamond wedding ring from the rubble of a destroyed home -- nearly 58 years to the day since the same ring survived the 1961 Bel-Air Fire.

The Bel-Air Fire, which broke out Nov. 5, 1961, destroyed 484 homes, some of which were rebuilt only to be burned again in the Getty Fire, which broke out Oct. 28 and destroyed 10 homes and damaged 15 others.

Last Wednesday, an engine company crew working on the Getty Fire “found a small ring box out in front of the only home destroyed in that section of the street,” according to the Los Angeles Fire Department, which reported the ring box was “sitting there all by itself.”

“When ... (crew members) opened it and saw the beautiful ring inside, they just knew this would be very important to the homeowner,” according to an LAFD statement.

The firefighters took the ring to the incident command post and a few days later, after evacuated residents were allowed back into their homes, the owner was found and recounted the heirloom's history.

“That ring belonged to her mother who lived in the home when it was destroyed in 1961,” according to the LAFD.

Patty Shales said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon at Fire Station 59 that the box had been stored in a closet in the back of the house and that recovering the ring was like getting a message from her mother, who had Alzheimer's disease and died about a year ago.

“It's just unbelievable really,” she said. “It's a total miracle.”

Shales said getting the ring was like receiving a message from her mother.

“I feel that she sent me this to tell me that she is in heaven and that she's OK and that I'm going to be OK,” she said.

Assistant Fire Chief Jaime Moore, who had to tell the woman her house had been destroyed, also asked if she recognized the ring box, which she did immediately.

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