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POLLOCK PINES, California --The Dykstra family lost everything in the King Fire that has scorched a large swath of the El Dorado National Forest. Sally and Gary had only 10 minutes to evacuate when the blaze tore toward the home they built with their own hands. And when firefighters allowed them to return a week later, they stared in shock at their dream house, which had "melted to nothing," with only ceramic fragments and a page from their daughter's book salvageable from the charred wreckage. "We don't have anything of our children, our kids when they were babies," Sally Dykstra said.
But then their cat Precious, who had fled during the evacuation, was found, frightened and hiding in a dusty hole on the perimeter of their home. Her feet were singed and she was in desperate need of some water. But her appearance was a moment of joy for the Dykstras as they contemplated starting from scratch on the Northern California foothills.