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I.E. fire burns 8 homes, now contained

September 21, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Near Temecula, firefighters have contained a 340-acre wildfire that destroyed eight homes over the weekend.John Montiel was one of the first people to see his neighbor's home go up in flames.

"There was nothing they could do here," said Montiel. "It came up so fast there was nothing they could do."

That was on Saturday. Monday, Soledad Chalfant came to see the damage for herself. Her retirement home was reduced to rubble.

"Sure, we had a lot of things stored here, and a lot of memories stored here, but I just have to be grateful and thank god that there were no lives lost, that's my greatest fear," said Chalfant.

But Chalfant is grateful that she and her husband still have a primary home, not far from here, in Murrieta. They're still three years from retirement, so time is on their side. But she says they have a lot of thinking to do about whether they'll rebuild.

"A lot of the dryness is because of the lack of watering, so what does that do, it makes it so we run the risk of having fires, you know," said Chalfant.

Less than a mile away, Christine Walsh and her family are also counting their blessings.

"You just think that it happens to someone else, it will never happen to you," said Walsh.

Their home is fine, just some smoke damage. But another structure on their property, and everything inside, is gone, burned to the ground.

"But they're just things, we have our family, and everyone's safe, and that's all that's important," said Walsh.

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