Homes in the Harmony Grove Spiritualist Association were burned to the ground in the Cocos Fire. But through the rubble is a sign of resilience: A perfectly intact Koi pond with dozens of fish still thriving.
Chris Meredith lived at what used to be 9409 Hillside Road for 27 years. He built his Koi pond shortly after moving into the San Diego-area community.
While his house has crumbled to pieces, the pond is dirty but still alive.
“It's showing that life goes on, that there's a continuity even in the midst of the devastation. Nature always finds a way to renew and replenish,” Meredith said.
Three Koi fish died when ash filled their pond, but 35 survived. Some are as big as 2-feet-long and 15 pounds.
On Monday morning, the Koi Club of San Diego will relocate the fish from Harmony Grove to a Koi sanctuary in Lakeside.
On Sunday, the Koi Club tested the pond water for toxins to make sure the fish are healthy enough for transport.
“When I saw it on the news I'm thinking, oh my God. They're still alive after the fire,” said John Svelan with the Koi Club. “We have to get in there.”
As for Meredith, he promises to rebuild.
“This is not the end. It's merely a curve in the road, and we will overcome,” he said.