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California’s worst wildfire, The Camp Fire, ravaged through the Golden State in 2018. Among the communities affected by the blaze, the town of Paradise was the most devastated. Ninety-five percent of all the structures in the city were destroyed, and all residents were evacuated.
Andrea Gaylord was among the residents of Paradise. Her house that had been in her family for ten generations was entirely destroyed by the Camp Fire. Fleeing was the hardest decision she had ever made, according to her. She was forced to leave her dogs, Madison and Miguel, behind to escape the fire. Andrea and her husband tried to search for the dogs, but the encroaching blaze left them with no choice.
Together with the other evacuees, they stayed at a nearby shelter while waiting for the fire to be extinguished. It took 17 days for the firefighters to contain the fire. At that time, Andrea was very anxious to go home and look for her dogs, but they were told that it was still unsafe to return home.
Almost a month had passed, and Gaylord was already beginning to lose hope until Miguel was seen in the nearby town of Citrus Heights. A volunteer from K9 Paw Print Rescue, Shayla Sullivan returned the dog to her.
The evacuees were eventually allowed to return to their properties for the first time. As Gaylord was pulling up their burned-down property, she noticed movement in the pile of rubble. Her heart started to beat faster. Sitting there was Madison eagerly waiting for them to return. Her faithful guard dog returned to his former home after the fire.
Gaylord gave out a sigh of relief. Her dogs are survivors! They did not see what was left of the catastrophe as ashes; they saw it as their homes. They stayed to protect their homes.
Thanks to our friends from TODAY for sharing the original story.