VENTURA (CBSLA) — On Wednesday, Kat Merrick and Chris Corsones sifted through the remnants of what used to be their house, one of the 150 structures lost in the massive Thomas Fire that continues devastating so many others in Ventura County this week.

They lived at Wicked Wire Ranch, their 20-acre, hillside home in Ventura that doubled as a nonprofit event venue they shared with the community.

“It’s just nothing. It’s just ash and rubble,” Merrick told CBS2 News as she fought back tears. “I’m devastated, and every friend we talk to is in the same boat.”

Now all they have left is a few photos they managed to grab when they had to evacuate the area Tuesday morning.

“The photos and the mementos, you know, the family heirlooms — they’re just, they’re gone, and they’re not coming back,” said Corsones.

The couple says they’ll rebuild, though the transition won’t be easy.

“To think that we’re going to be basically transient for that period of time, it’s a big pill to have to deal with,” Corsones said.

However, in what may augur a triumphant comeback for the family, the one thing that managed to survive seemingly unscathed was their garden.

As a tall, bright yellow sunflower hovered next to her, Merrick cracked a smile. “They’ll definitely grow, we’ll work hard to make sure that happens,” she said with a bit of hope.

“We’ll rebuild and make it better,” echoed Corsones.

A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help the couple rebuild.


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