Homeowners Pick Up the Pieces

A raging wildfire ripped through at least 12 structures in Riverside County

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    A fast moving wildfire burning east of Temecula destroyed at least 12 structures and forced the evacuation of about 30 homes Saturday.

    Material from a car's catalytic converter sparked brush in the Cleveland National Forest around 4 p.m. and by late Saturday night the fire  had burned more than 340 acres.

    Homes Burned in Temecula Wildfire

    [DGO] Homes Burned in Temecula Wildfire
    A raging wildfire rips through at least 12 structures in Riverside County and burns 200 acres. Firefighters expect to have it surrounded Sunday morning. (Published Sunday, Sept. 20, 2009)

    On Monday, while fire and utility crews checked the area for hot spots and worked to restore service, some residents returned to see what survived.

    Aguanga residents Dan and Christina Walsh searched through rubble at the 1800s-era cattle ranchhouse next door to their home. They used the building to store a lot of their property.

    After hearing a lot of conflicting reports, the Walshes returned late Sunday to find their small home still standing.

    "I asked the fire crew from Beaumont that was here how they were able to save our house and the barn," Dan Walsh told the North County Times. "He told me they had no idea, that a real miracle happened here."

    One resident suffered minor smoke inhalation and was treated at the scene.