Middletown couple finds engagement ring in ashes of home

CALISTOGA, Calif. (KGO) -- Some people returning to their homes in Loch Lomond after the Valley Fire found their homes still standing, but others weren't so fortunate. Still, some are finding some prize possession amid the ashes.

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We first met Eric Lopez, his girlfriend Annette Perez, and their baby at the Napa County Fairgrounds last week when 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney hosted a pop-up event to help survivors of the Valley Fire. What we didn't know is Lopez had a secret about something he left behind.

The young couple and their baby, Eric Jr., escaped the firestorm, but their apartment building was destroyed.

"That's when I started getting worried and upset because I knew I had a ring in the house and she didn't know," Lopez said.

It was not just any ring; it was a diamond engagement ring Lopez bought to propose with.

"Pretty much all week that's what was in my mind, 'The ring, the ring, hopefully it's good,'" Lopez said.

"That's when he told me that he bought an engagement ring and it was in the house," Perez said.

PHOTOS: Crews battle massive Valley Fire


When Lopez finally saw the ashes of their home, he sifted through the rubble and remembered he had hid the ring behind their TV.

Lopez was happy to tell us, "The TV was still standing and I see a little box on top of it so I said, 'Oh, that's a ring!'"

"And he opened it and the ring was still there," Perez said.

It was protected by a tiny metal case, but the diamond ring was there, dusty, but still glimmering.

VIDEO: Valley Fire victims begin sifting through ashes of homes


Perez was overjoyed. She told us she loves it and it was so beautiful. She was able to put it on her finger.

"I cannot believe it. I can't believe it's in the same spot I left it," said Lopez.

Perez is still waiting for Lopez to propose. He says he wants to make it special, but rebuilding their lives will have to come first. Luckily, the shiny cornerstone is still intact.

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