Breaking News
More () »

Carlsbad families rebuild homes a year after May 2014 fires

It's been a long road to recovery for some of the families who lost their homes in the devastating wild fires one year ago.
SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - It's been a long road to recovery for some of the families who lost their homes in the devastating wild fires one year ago.

In Carlsbad, homes that were destroyed in the Poinsettia fire are in the process of being rebuilt.

Adam Gilmore reflected on that dark day he and his family lost everything. "I have a completely different outlook on life. I see everyday as a gift," he said.

One year ago, he told CBS News 8, he had only been able to save a couple of photos and the family's dogs before the fire destroyed his home.

In the days after the fire, the family painstakingly sifted through the ashes.

"In the digging we found my parents' original wedding rings, which was really cool and we found my dad's coast guard ring which he gave to me," he said.

At the time of the fire, Adam was a senior at his high school.

He said a huge part of his past was wiped out when the flames burned all the physical things. 

"The idea of a picture is to remind you of something that happened. A memory. A feeling, and without those you will never remember what those were," he said.

His family's new home is now under construction, but Adam said he knows moving back in without all those things they once loved and cherished will be difficult. It will bring a bit more sadness, he said.

"It's truly amazing how much a home can hold, through memories, through items, through just things that happen there. When it's taken away, it's amazing how terrible it can be," he said.

Next to Adam's family home, was the first home to catch fire.

Anya and J.J. Bannish are also making new memories.

The Sunday before the fire, Anya and J.J., had celebrated their new beginning with a wedding reception. Three days later, their home was burned down.

"It puts tears in my eyes just bringing back memories of it because that was just such a horrible experience. Nobody will ever know unless you've been through it. It's just so much pain just to see your family's house just crumble and nothing left at all. Nobody was home so we couldn't grab the dog and grab our stuff, so there was like nothing," said Anya.

The only object left standing in the rubble was a fireproof safe where they found their dog, Rocky, alive.

Rock now has scars on his back from the fire, while his family deals with emotional wounds.

The families extended their sincere thanks to the community for all of its support.

The Singleton Law Firm in Solana Beach has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of many property owners who suffered damage and loss.

They are suing the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa, where authorities believe the Poinsettia fire started.

Before You Leave, Check This Out