Oak Fire

San Diego Mother Loses Nearly Everything, Including Cherished Memories, in Oak Fire Near Yosemite

NBC Universal, Inc.

A San Diego mother who moved to Mariposa County is among the people who lost everything in the Oak Fire and she's learning some things are harder to replace than others.

As the Oak Fire exploded, devouring more than 19,000 acres in Mariposa County in northern California, homes were destroyed along with cherished memories.

"I'm still like in such a state of shock that I have no clue what we're going to do next,” explained Dana Robinson, a 38-year-old native of San Diego's San Carlos neighborhood.

Robinson and her daughter Lola, 11, lost nearly everything. The foundation and other charred memories are all that's left of the San Diego transplant's two-bedroom rental home near Yosemite National Park.

Pictures of Lola planting flowers out front show how the home had become a place of solace for the pair over the last three years after living for a while in a domestic violence shelter.

"When we found that place I thought 'My gosh!’ I'm finally a good mom, I'm finally giving her what she deserves,'” Robsinson said "Just that, that feeling is gone, and I feel like my poor kid has to start from nothing again and it's not fair for her. I just want to protect her from the world and that's what we all, that's what we're all hoping for."

The Oak Fire left Robinson with just the clothes on her back. She says she’s thankful her daughter was in San Diego for the summer with her grandmother.

Lola shared how her beloved stuffed animal she got from her great-grandmother became a casualty of the fire.

"He reminds me of her, like the very few memories I had of her. I was really sad and I locked myself up in the room," Lola said.

In addition to Mr. Snuggles, all the pictures and crafts the young aspiring artist has made went up in smoke.

"All the little Mother's Day cards, they make you all the little cute little things they make as a kid. It's all gone,” said Robinson.

Robinson, a social worker by profession, said she's used to helping others, but now she's turning to the community for help through an online fundraiser.

But she realizes some things will be tougher to rebuild.

“A house can be rebuilt, things can be rebought, but that sense of pride I had as a mother by gifting my child with a stable childhood, is just gone," she said.

Robinson is now staying in a friend’s RV and wondering whether her ability to find another affordable place to live has gone up in smoke

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