Terri Strohman and her son Max had only 10 minutes to evacuate, collecting only essentials and pets before the flames got too close. When Max returned to assess the damage, he discovered firefighters had recovered three powerful items: an American flag, a 9/11 mug and a loved one’s urn.
“They’re such strong symbols,” Terri Strohman told “Fox & Friends” Monday. “It also kind of helps keep it in perspective because we’re so grateful… We’re all alive.”
“The flag and 9/11 represent so many lost lives. So it helps us look forward and be hopeful and feel like we’ll all get through this.”
Terri Strohman said she saw the fire about an hour before they were told to evacuate. She watched her home burn down on live television.
“It was absolutely surreal,” she told host Pete Hegseth. “We all came back and were watching three hours of our whole neighborhood go down.”
The Coastal Fire destroyed 20 homes in the Laguna Niguel community and damaged at least 11 others. Two firefighters were injured in the fire that spread to over 200 acres.
Roughly 900 residents were forced to evacuate. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Strohman said she’s received “amazing” support in recent days.
“We’ve gathered a lot of strength from the warmness and the spirit, I would say the spirit of the community,” she said.
Fox News’ Julia Musto contributed to this report.