Hughes was at Enloe Medical Center in nearby Chico, where she works as a nurse, when Maes let her know he was heading to the house. “I knew he was going up there and was probably going to be on the local news,” Hughes shared with Yahoo Lifestyle, “but I had no idea what he was really looking for.”
Maes and his father sifted through the ruins and, amazingly, found the safe. They pried it open to discover a pile of ashes with something small and sparkling.
“That’s it,” Maes said to KCRA3. “Oh, my gosh! Oh, wow! It is melted and there’s a bullet around it.”
While the ring will need quite a bit of restoration work, but Hughes says it will be worth the wait. “I want him to be able to have his moment,” she said to Yahoo Lifestyle. “Some guys work so hard to plan that special question. I don’t want to ruin it for him. I’m trying my best to just let him do him.”
“I’m so happy that our story can be the light in the darkness and people’s glimmer of hope,” she added. “Our story is not just for us, but it’s for our whole community.”
Hughes shared with Fox News her hopes to use this story to bring awareness to the North Valley Community Foundation, a fund run by Sierra Nevada Brewing's Ken Grossman which donates 100 percent of sale proceeds to help victims of the Camp Fire.
As of Sunday, the Camp Fire is still only 55% contained. The ferocious wildfire has burned more than 149,000 acres of the state, claimed 76 lives, and left 1,276 people missing.