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A Year Later, Laguna Fire's Effect Lingers

October 27, 1994|DOREEN CARVAJAL | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Along the bare, wheat-colored slopes of Laguna Beach and Emerald Bay, fate is as capricious as a wind-blown gust of fire.

Some families who lost everything a year ago to an untamed 2,000-degree blaze are flourishing, grateful that their memories are more durable than Christmas ornaments and sterling flatware. Others, who survived with their ocean views and luxury houses intact, see no charm in their luck.

The Oct. 27 wildfire devoured 441 homes in and around Laguna Beach, the worst disaster in Orange County since the flood of '38.

Today, on the one-year anniversary of the wildfire, arson investigators are no closer to discovering who set the blaze than they were the day it erupted. And neighbors are still struggling to make sense of the inferno that granted mercy to some houses and burned others to their foundations. Please see A24-A25.

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