Thursday, October 25, 2007

Home again...for 10 minutes

Posted @ 8:43 AM

By 7 a.m., the line of Rancho Bernardo residents waiting for 10 minutes of access to the lives they left behind snaked the parking lkot of the community’s recreation center.

The Blankenships were one of the first families allowed in to the home on Coronado Place, one of the hardest-hit areas. Out of about a dozen homes on the cul-de-sac, only theirs and that of one neighbor were left.

In a rush, the family juggled looking around the home with collecting precious items – mom’s medication, 10-year-old daughter Katie’s violin and 13-year-old son Mike’s toys. They quickly surveyed the backyard, trying to figure out why their home survived while those of their neighbors were incinerated.

Maybe it was because they had removed the avocado trees and replace them with ice plant. Maybe the brick wall created a fire break. Or perhaps the firefighters removed combustible items from the back of the home.

When their time was up, they reluctantly got back into the family’s SUV, no knowing when they would see their home again.

“It’s going to take a couple of weeks to process all of this,” said Gregg Blankenship, the father.

--from Jose Luis Jimenez, staff writer

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