A San Diego man is trying to grasp the loss of his home after the Shockey Fire destroyed it in one of the largest fires this year.
Stewart Mills of Tierra Del Sol owned his home for 15 years before it was burned on Sept. 23, he told NBC 7 San Diego.
The mailbox around a nearby home stood tall, but the house in the small East County community succumbed to the flames.
Mills said a neighbor alerted him to the destruction.
“[He said] ’the whole town’s going up in flames and I just saw your house burn,” Mill said. “So that was how I found out.”
He said the 900-square foot cottage was once used for railroad workers and was built in 1911. The decades-old home was destroyed in minutes. Mills said he does not have any insurance, because area is too high risk and no one would cover his house.
The house was along a one-mile stretch of road where many structures were burned or destroyed. Some residences were safe, as the fire went right around some areas.
Tierra Del Sol resident Dave Downing happily discovered that his house was safe. He also helped a neighbor check out his home to find that it, too, was spared.
“Those firefighters with those helicopters saved his house,” Downing said.
The residents were told they had to evacuate around 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, when the fire quickly spread throughout Camp in East County San Diego.
So far 30 homes have been burned or destroyed as a result of the Shockey Fire.