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Mike Inouye

The Angora Fire, in South Lake Tahoe, has been center stage in all of our newscasts this week. It is a concern for most of us because of the enormity and proximity.

Lake Tahoe is a favorite vacation spot for a lot of us here at the station and holds many fond memories for me, growing up skiing at both the North Shore and South Shore slopes as well as rafting down the Truckee River many a hot summer day.

Though not directly in the line of the flames, this fire rekindled some old memories for me. Some of you may have heard me tell Laura and Brent that my house burned down during my Mtn. View High School years. Everyone got out safely, thanks in part to my Grandma and Uncle who lived next door and woke us up. (Here is a picture of the hallway leading to all of our bedrooms. The sunshine pouring in where the ceiling used to be, and charred pieces of the ceiling covering the floor.)

Much of the furniture was also saved thanks to the quick work of the fire crew that moved and covered the furniture before they doused the house in water. (As you see in this photo of the dining room with the tables and chairs under tarps, ash and debris all around, and the ceiling gone leaving only the framework to hold up our chandelier.)

The fire started in our garage (see the Jeep Wagoneer we had?) and the loss of our cars wasn’t the worst. Photos like this one and this one from the fire, remind me of that image.

As I’ve come to discover, over the years, the major loss for the family was the memorabilia, crafts, holiday decorations and other special things my brother and I had made as kids, or that my parents had kept thru the years. Most of these things were in our storage space above the garage. Nothing from that area of the house is left.

While I don’t even pretend to understand the loss of the families who were in the path of this fire, I can feel for them when they talk about deciding what you pack, what you leave behind and what you wish you could have saved.

Thankfully, my family has our memories, most of the photos were saved, and we have each other.

The rest?

I guess I’ll have my kid get started on macaroni art and paper-chain garlands as soon as he’s able.

Mike Inouye
NBC11 Traffic Anchor

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