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La Cañada Flintridge residents express their gratitude to firefighters

September 2, 2009 |  1:38 pm
The sign in the frontyard of one Ocean View Boulevard home in La Cañada Flintridge said it all:

“Thank you for saving Paradise Valley.”

The mandatory evacuation order for the neighborhood was lifted Tuesday morning. The most noticeable sign today that residents had returned were all the cars and trucks parked in the driveways.

At one end of the street, Lillian Guarino's daughter and two granddaughters were in the backyard washing the soot off the patio furniture. Guarino, 89, said she wanted the yard clean before she brought her two dogs, cat and cockatiel back home.

"I don't want them getting in all that ash and cinder," said the longtime resident.

Guarino and her family evacuated Friday night and went to stay with her son nearby. They were ordered to leave by firefighters and their neighborhood watch group.

Guarino stood by the living room window watching the cleanup operation as puddles of dirty water collected on the patio.

She remembered another large fire that swept through the area in the 1970s, before many of her neighbors moved in.

"Yeah, we were very fortunate,” she said. “This is the second fire we've had to go through. And hopefully this is the last one."

-- Raja Abdulrahim