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USA UK and Malta News
21/10/2007 - 23:02

EditoWeb USA NeWs: Fire cuts swath through Malibu Hills

Connie James and her husband, Bernie, who both work at Pepperdine University, lost their designer home in the small, close-knit neighborhood of Malibu Knolls. She and her husband awoke about 5 a.m. and realized a fan in their bedroom had stopped working. The power had failed and they could smell smoke. Soon, firefighters arrived, warning residents to evacuate.

The couple scrambled to collect their most precious valuables, along with computers, photographs and their two border collies, Sax and Blue.

"We just feel blessed to get anything out under these circumstances," said James, who has lived in the neighborhood for 10 years. "If you live in Malibu you kind of understand that what's important is people's lives and well being and ... you can't get too attached to possessions."

James, the chair of the Pepperdine's undergraduate business administration division, drove to the nearby campus with her husband, a professor of law. They made sure students were safe and then drove to Santa Monica to place their dogs in a kennel.

They kept in touch with neighbors, and James said one called late in the morning with the news: her English-country style home had burned to the ground.

"We feel really blessed, all things considered," she said. The home is insured, she said, and they intend to rebuild.

Jack Leonard /www.chicagotribune.com

h.V/ On line news

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