Patty Shales believed that everything inside her house in the Los Angeles hills was destroyed by a wildfire. But a treasured possession of her late mother's survived.

Patty Shales was asleep in her home in the Brentwood hills of Los Angeles when her neighbour called to say a fire was burning near the Getty Center art museum.

Shales, 67, looked out her window and could see flames on the Sepulveda Pass, but not close enough for her to worry about evacuating on that October night. It was 2am, and the pass had burned before. She went back to bed.

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