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Lilac Fire: Bonsall Residents Return Home to Sift Through Memories, Ashes

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Saturday on Wrightwood Road in Bonsall was a time for sifting — sifting through memories, through tears, through ashes.

A photo album damaged by fire is see amid the destruction of the Lilac Fire, Dec. 8, 2017, at a retirement community in Fallbrook. (Credit: AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck)

A photo album damaged by fire is see amid the destruction of the Lilac Fire, Dec. 8, 2017, at a retirement community in Fallbrook. (Credit: AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck)

When the Lilac fire blew through here Thursday afternoon, it burned down at least seven houses on this hilly street, and it would have been worse if firefighters and a half-dozen neighbors hadn’t been there to put out flames that in some places licked to within a few feet of the outside walls.

So along with the lingering smell of wood smoke, there was a swirl of emotion up and down the road Saturday morning. People who lost their houses were grateful to be alive. Those whose houses still stood felt relieved, but also a little guilty, and they grieved for what their neighbors were going through.

It’s a street where everybody seems to know everybody else, if not by name then at least by sight. They shared hugs as some of them returned to their properties for the first time since the fire broke out.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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