Photos: Laguna Niguel residents return to ruins: ‘30 years’ worth of memories’ consumed by fire

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
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What started as a small brush fire fueled by coastal winds quickly spread into an upscale Laguna Niguel subdivision, burning at least 20 homes and forcing many to flee.

The Coastal fire grew to 200 acres and underscores the year-round danger of fires in Southern California.

Sassan Darian, 38, holds his cat, Cyrus, as he assesses the damage outside his father’s home on Coronado Pointe.
(Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)
Keith and Lynn Morey lost all of their possessions except for their wedding picture, which was saved by firefighters.
(Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)
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(Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)
Ritz Sherman, left, comforts distraught neighbor, Zoey Carpenter. Both were very emotional after seeing destruction in their Coronado Pointe community.
(Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)
(Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)
People walk along a path behind the homes on Coronado Pointe. More than 20 homes in Laguna Niguel were destroyed by the Coastal fire, fueled by winds and dry conditions caused by California’s intense drought.
(Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)
(Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)
Matthew Vogel, age 39, crouches in front of his parents home, where he grew up in the Coronado Pointe neighborhood. The home was completely destroyed last night. At least 20 homes in Laguna Niguel were destroyed by fire, fueled by winds and dry conditions caused by California’s intense drought on May 12, 2022.
(Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)
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(Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)
Venus Shafizadah, left, and her husband, Ata, walk by smoldering homes on their home street on Coronado Pointe. The Shafizadah’s were lucky and their home escaped damage from the Coastal fire.
(Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)
OCFA Capt. Brian Yau puts caution tape around unsafe homes gutted by Coastal fire in the Coronado Pointe community in Laguna Niguel.
(Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Firefighters hose down homes in the Coronado Pointe community in Laguna Niguel.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)