SANTA CLARITA ( — The massive Sand Fire in Santa Clarita was declared 100 percent contained Wednesday morning, but the 41,432-acre fire left in its wake a path of destruction.

Among the wreckage was a house built four decades ago by retired contractor Dennis Deans, 71.

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Dennis Deans bought his 10 acres on Sand Canyon Road at the site of an abandoned gold mine in 1975 and poured his heart and soul into building his dream home on the plot of land, starting with the basics — a toilet, shower and kitchen sink.

Deans also built five rental units on the property. He and his wife, Janet, 77, used the rental income to retire and live peacefully in their Sand Canyon home.

“Sometimes I am just amazed at the stillness. In the middle of the night, you can hear a pin drop,” Deans said. “I am just in awe.”

Everything changed on the evening of July 22, as the Sand Fire came roaring through Sand Canyon. He had only five minutes to gather his wife and dog, and evacuate the property.

“I knew we were going to lose (the house), but I was more worried about ourselves at that point,” he said.

Now, he’s weighing his options.

One of his rental homes miraculously survived the fire, but he’s not sure if he’ll be able to afford living there without income from the other, now-destroyed rental properties.

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Rebuilding would be another challenge.

“I’m sure the materials cost would be $500,000,” he said. “I’m 71 years old and I may have 10 years left if I’m lucky.”

At the very least, Deans has the support of his community.

Dean’s church congregation on Wednesday was staging a furniture drive to help replace his burned possessions.

A GoFundMe account was set up last week to help the Deans recover.

Meanwhile, about 250 firefighters remained on the scene of the Sand Fire Wednesday, working to mop up and put out hot spots, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The blaze destroyed a total of 18 homes and killed a man, and prompted the evacuation of an estimated 20,000 people, all of whom have since returned home. The last evacuation orders were lifted on Friday.

The fire also destroyed a western town set on the Sable Ranch, a well-known filming location.

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