Apple Fire: Retired couple in Cherry Valley lost their home, all belongings in blaze

A couple in their 70s who had recently retired and moved to Cherry Valley lost their home and all their possessions in the Apple Fire.
CHERRY VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- The Apple Fire, which has scorched more than 32,000 acres in Riverside County, has also destroyed four homes as it rages over hillsides and through the San Bernardino National Forest.

The first to be lost was the home of Won Kyoung Lee and Myung Lee in Cherry Valley.

The Lees, who also go by Bill and Emily, escaped the flames unscathed, managing to grab a few possessions as the flames drew closer.

"I found big smoke and ash over my property, so I called my wife," Bill Lee said.

The couple in their 70s had recently retired and moved here from South Carolina, putting their retirement savings into their new home.

They had recently finished renovating the home and were looking for insurance, but had yet to purchase a policy.

Now everything is gone.

They're relying on the kindness of friends, strangers and a local church to get them through. They're also hoping for help from FEMA.

In addition a GoFundMe has been established by their daughter-in-law.

Still, Emily Lee remains grateful, realizing how fortunate they were to escape with their lives given the destructive power of the blaze.

"I think we're very lucky," she said. "We are so lucky because we can escape. So thank God we're alive."
Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.