Firefighters return homeowner's ring that survived the Getty Fire originally appeared on abcnews.go.com
As Southern California residents continue to recover from the devastating effects of recent wildfires, firefighters were sent on a heartfelt mission to return a beloved item that survived the flames in the Getty Fire.
On Wednesday, a Los Angeles Fire Department crew located a small ring box in front of a charred home that was destroyed in the blaze, the department posted on Facebook.
Upon opening the box, firefighters found a beautiful ring encased in a plush, velvet cushion that somehow miraculously survived the flames. Crew members assumed the ring was important to whomever it belonged to and delivered it to the command post for safe keeping.
Several days later, Chief Jamie Moore was responsible for telling homeowners the statuses of their properties when evacuations were lifted. The only home on the street that was totally destroyed was Patty Shales' house, which led Moore to believe the ring belonged to Shales.
When Moore showed the ring box to Shales, she stopped him and said, "That’s my mom’s wedding ring box!" Sure enough, the ring was inside the box.
They came to find out the ring survived two separate wildfires that erupted decades apart: the Getty Fire in 2019 and a house fire in Las Vegas in 1994. The ring survived the flames yet again.
Shales’ mother is deceased, but she felt the ring -- the only thing that survived the fire -- was a message from her mother telling her that she's OK.
In 1994, Shales' parents' Las Vegas home burned down in an isolated fire. Her brother saved them from the burning house and they got out with just the clothes on their backs -- and the ring.
"I consider this the miracle ring of all rings," Shales said Tuesday. "I don't have anything else, but I have this."
The Getty Fire, which burned across 745 acres, erupted on Oct. 28 in the Brentwood area, according to firefighters. Ten homes were destroyed in the blaze and 15 others sustained damage.
The fire is believed to have been accidentally sparked by a tree branch that broke off and landed on nearby power lines, which ignited nearby brush, according to investigators.
Editor's Note: A day after its Facebook post, the LAFD changed most of the details of the story on Tuesday. The department originally said the ring survived the Bel Air Fire in 1961, and the homeowner's mother was happy to have the ring back. The ring did not go through the Bel Air Fire, and Shales clarified that her mother, the owner of the ring, had died.
ABC News' Marilyn Heck contributed to this report.