Hello from hell...Paradise lost
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2734BAE4-062A-4F66-BAA1-C259D4865B66.thumb.jpeg.581f6593407a8cc961c5ceb5d68c273a.jpegHello to all here at NGC,

Im known as bufflohead here and I’m also known as crazyhounddog on the pcgs forum.

My home town of, Paradise, California was burned to the ground from the Camp Fire that raged through town at a footballfield a second and it was hell on earth.  With Gods help we all got out alive but not without a close get away but we all lost our homes.  My wife and I had a home there for 28 years and raised our two children to an adult age and they in turn found Paradise the place they wanted to live and have children, which they both did.  Long story short all three of our home were burned to the ground along with our school my wife owned and ran.  The school had over 80 kids that had to be evacuated before we knew how crazy this hellfire was as we have evacuated the kids many times over the years but they always put the fires out before they got into town.  Some close calls but never made it even close the the center of town.  So by the time the parents came to pick up the last child was when we got the word that the fire was bearing down at a fast pace. As a result all we got out of our home were many pictures but not all,  and escaped with our lives.

  I left behind my lifetime collection of coins.  I had two safes.  One safe was a 1942 jewelers safe fire rated to 2000 degrees.  The larger safe was also fire rated but to a much lower temperature at a much shorter period of time. A cannon safe.

 As a footnote, after this hellfire raged through town that day and destroyed everything in its path then the rains came.  They completely flooded everything out and I mean FLOODED.  This turned everything to muck and I’m talking muck.

It was a month when I finally got the word that they would FINALLY let me come back up to empty the contents of my safe in which I was hoping survived the fire and would open like the safe guy that restored it told me.  I’ll stop here and attach some images that for whatever reason is a slow process on the cell phone.

Please do keep in mind what I said about these two safes and they’re fire rating.

To carry on a bit, I know this is long.

After, Paul, from NGC got word of what happened to me and my family and seeing some of these images, he and NGC has offered to help me reholder my NGC and PMG graded coins and notes at no cost to me.  I can not thank, Paul and NGC enough along with the generous donation to the go fund me account setup for me by a collector friend of mine, Jim Bowling., over on the pcgs forum.

From my family’s and my heart, thank you and God bless all of you for your well wishes and prays.

Joe and family

 

 

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Edited by Buffalo Head

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533 posts

Joe, 

 I'm thankful you and your family were able to escape the fire. My thoughts and prays are with you and your family. 

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I'm glad you and your family made it out safely. I am very sorry about your loss, though. I hope the restoration goes smoothly for you, and for the whole town.

What was in the destroyed safe, if I may ask?

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1,487 posts

Wow, that's incredible. 

As others have said, at least you're all alive. 

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115 posts

Hello Joe,

It was nice speaking with you on the phone. All of us at NGC are so sorry for the extreme losses that you and your family have experienced. It’s awful to see the complete devastation of Paradise, CA, and we can’t even imagine what you’re going through. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your neighbors.  

That being said, we are very happy to be able help you out in any way that we can. We await the receipt of your NGC and PMG certified items and will do our best to save everything we can.

 

Thank you,

-Paul

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3 hours ago, Just Bob said:

I'm glad you and your family made it out safely. I am very sorry about your loss, though. I hope the restoration goes smoothly for you, and for the whole town.

What was in the destroyed safe, if I may ask?

Coins of lesser value along with many collectible items.  I also collected coin banks from the old days, the metal ones that move.  They were reduced to a puddle.  Some of my old ceramic piggybanks made it out in one piece but now are worthless. It was rough to see our house gone and the memories it held.  The whole town is gone.

Thank you, Paul and NGC.

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I think it is awesome that our Host has stepped up with such a helping hand. We are all thankful to NGC and Staff. Joe I can't imagine the sorrow you and your family have endured.  God Bless you all.:(

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The pics really do say it all, really glad that you and your family made it out in time.  And kudos to NGC for their offer to help you out. 

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Wow, My prayers went out to you and they are still there hoping your lives can get back to normal one day! Quite a step up in customer service that NGC is showing. Very few companies would ever do that! 

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I'm sorry Joe. Wish you and your family the best. 

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Joe, I'm glad all is well with you and your family. Also, thank you for documenting what you did. It's quite fascinating to see what happens in a real-life situation to such safes. I'm curious to know if you knew anyone with safes that were stored in a basement and if those fared any better or are there really no basements in Paradise?

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Your story is truly the most disastrous collector misfortune I have ever heard of short of loss of life. So glad you and your family made it out.

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On 12/12/2018 at 8:00 PM, bsshog40 said:

Wow, My prayers went out to you and they are still there hoping your lives can get back to normal one day! Quite a step up in customer service that NGC is showing. Very few companies would ever do that! 

+1

Glad you and your family are all okay.

Hope that your lives return to status quo in the not-too-distant future.

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On 12/12/2018 at 6:18 AM, Just Bob said:

I'm glad you and your family made it out safely. I am very sorry about your loss, though. I hope the restoration goes smoothly for you, and for the whole town.

What was in the destroyed safe, if I may ask?

Other coins and collectibles .  I also collected old coin banks .  That fire destroyed everything in that Cannon safe.  Do NOT buy a crappy safe.  Spend the money and get one that will save your precious collection.   My other safe was rated at 2000 degrees and did it’s job, kinda.  This was an extremely hot fire.

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Spoiler

 

I can't imagine what coming back to that feels like.

Glad you're still with us.

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