The Camp Fire has destroyed many homes in Paradise, California, including the one Nick Maes grew up in. And when the flames were gone, Nick went back to the spot where the house once stood, so he could try to find the engagement ring he’d been storing in his parent’s safe until he was ready to pop the question to his girlfriend, Shastina Hughes.
Luckily, on his return trip to sift through the rubble, Nick found the safe and with some help, he got it opened and eventually found the ring among the ashes. The once-sparkly metal and gems have seen better days and the ring has melted around a bullet shell, but with some work, it can be repaired.
Hughes had no idea Nick was going to propose, but she happened to see a local news story about the ring online while searching for updates about the wildfire and was shocked to learn it was her boyfriend in the story. She says she’ll accept the ring in any condition and is giving him time to plan his moment with the proposal.
“I’m so glad our story can be the light in the darkness and people’s glimmer of hope,” Hughes says.