Couple Lost Everything In Silver Fire Except Their Wedding Day
COLTON (CBSLA.com) — A couple that lost everything in the rampaging Silver Fire, didn’t let the destruction of their Banning home put a damper on their planned nuptials.
“We’re going to start our life together, brand spanking new. Everything down to the house even,” said Kim Malone.
Steve Cooke and Malone are literally starting over again as they embark on wedded bliss.
The two were married Saturday – three days after their home completely burned to the ground.
“My fiancé was too upset over the loss of the house,” he says, “I didn’t want anything to mess up her wedding day.”
The house was engulfed in flames and quickly became a total loss. A dramatic photograph of the house going up in flames made the Press-Enterprise front page.
“It is just part of life,” says Cooke, “I just looked at it and I go, ‘There goes the house.’”
Cooke realizes the loss of his entire house, and everything inside it, might not have completely sunken in yet. They lost clothes, food for the wedding, keepsakes, belongings, photos, even their marriage license.
“It will hit me when I see it all the way down,” he told CBS2′s Art Barron.
The couple had taken every consideration in the planning of their big day. Cooke even built a ramp on the property to accommodate Kim’s mother.
“We built the deck around [the house] and a ramp for my mom because she can’t walk that well. It was just finished … just finished,” says Kim in disbelief.
Fortunately, the couple’s rings weren’t damaged.
Cooke’s father, Carroll, barely escaped with his life but he was able to grab the rings out of a safe and grab the couple’s dogs and race them to safety.
“We jumped into the car and as I drove out the driveway the flames were clear across the road,” says Carroll. “I couldn’t see where I was going.”
With literally now owning just the shirts on their backs, Steve and his father stuck to the day’s wedding plan.
The couple got married at Steve’s son Jason’s house in Colton.
Several valuable items were lost in the fire. Steve had an original photograph of former First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln in a genuine gold frame. The photo was valued at an estimated $100,000 and up.
“It’s like we are 19 again and we’re starting with nothing,” Cooke says.
Valuables aside, the newly-married couple told Barron they know what is really important – their lives.
The Cooke family has set up a website for donations. It is CookeFamilyFund.mydagsite.com.