Fairfield couple loses everything in fire on wedding anniversary

11:36 PM, Aug 27, 2013   |    comments
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Verna and Gene Gray

FAIRFIELD, CA - Tuesday was a bittersweet day for Fairfield couple Verna and Gene Gray - it was the day a grass fire destroyed their home; it was the day they celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary.

"We lost 40 years of memories," Verna Gray said.

Their home on Marigold Drive and all their belongings were destroyed by a fast moving grass fire Tuesday afternoon. The fire destroyed one other home and burned three more on the same street.

The fire started on a grassy hillside along Interstate 80 around 3:40 p.m. and quickly spread to homes along parallel Marigold Drive, according to fire officials.

RELATED STORY: Fairfield grass fire damaged 5 homes

About 50 residents were evacuated in total along Marigold Drive, and North Texas Street was closed between Dickson Hill Road and Atlantic Avenue, Fairfield fire spokesperson Bob Silva said. A nearby apartment complex was also evacuated as the blaze moved closer to the building.

Some homeowners on Marigold Drive were lucky, escaping with only some damage to their homes.

Unfortunately for the Grays, they lost everything including Verna's wedding ring.

"I took it off and laid on the table," Verna Gray explained.

Despite losing everything, Verna and Gene Gray said they are still smiling and honoring their 47th wedding anniversary. They said the fire won't tarnish the one memory that will remain engraved in their minds.

"I remember when she walked down the aisle," Gene Gray recalled. "She was the most beautiful woman I ever saw."


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