Firefighters find precious heirloom from home destroyed by Getty Fire

BRENTWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A Brentwood woman lost her home in the Getty Fire, but firefighters were miraculously able to find and return one of her most prized possessions.

An assistant fire chief going through the neighborhood after the flames were out came across a small, waterlogged jewelry box on the ground outside Patty Shales' burned-out home.

Inside was her mother's wedding ring, relatively untouched by the flames.

Shales' mother died last November of Alzheimer's.

"She was really a special person," Shales said. "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."

This was the second house fire the family - and the ring - survived. Shales' parents had escaped a burning home in Las Vegas in 1994.

Los Angeles Fire Department Assistant Chief Jamie Moore recalled the moment he told Shales about her home - and the ring.

"I had the unfortunate task of telling her her house had been destroyed," Moore said. "But I told her hold on a minute, I might have something for her."

He held out the box and barely got the words out to ask her when she exclaimed "That's my mom's wedding ring box!"

The ring had been stored in another box in the back of a closet in the home.

Shales say she is grateful that she, her daughter and her dog survived the fire.

And seeing the ring again brought her some degree of peace.

"It's just unbelievable, really," Shales said. "It's a total miracle."
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