By Keldine Hull
As Brentwood residents cope with the aftermath of the Getty Fire, an unlikely discovery offers a glimmer of hope to one resident in particular: an heirloom ring that survived both the 1961 Bel Air Fire and the recent Getty Fire.
Patty Shales lost everything, including her home, in the fire until an assistant chief found a jewelry box on the ground outside where Shales’ home once stood. Inside the box was Shales’ mother’s wedding ring, virtually untouched. Shales’ mother passed away last November.
“She was really a special person,” Shales said in an interview with ABC7. “And I feel that she sent me this to tell me that she’s in Heaven and she’s OK. And I’m gonna be OK. I totally have that spiritual connection. I just feel so blessed and so grateful for the firemen.”
Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Assistant Chief Jamie Moore made the miraculous discovery. “I had the unfortunate task of telling her her house had been destroyed,” Moore told ABC7. “But I told her hold on a minute, I might have something for her.”
According to the LAFD, on October 30, Engine 89 was working at the fire and found a small ring box out in front of the only home destroyed in that section of the street. Sitting there all by itself. When they opened it and saw the beautiful ring inside, they just knew this would be very important to the homeowner and delivered it to the Command Post.
In addition to the Getty Fire, the ring also survived the 1961 Bel Air Fire that destroyed some of the same homes that were rebuilt and destroyed by the Getty Fire. “It’s just unbelievable, really,” Shales continued. “It’s a total miracle.”