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Torrey Pines Sophomore and Outside The Lens Youth Councilor, Layla Mazdyasni, shares a story on how a Carmel Valley family tries to rebuild after a devastating fire.
A not so typical mid-autumn day: Flames burning, hearts racing, thoughts jumbling. The house slowly begins to burn to the ground; firemen rush in. A rough day for any family to say the least.
This was what the day was like for Katrina Schroeder and her sister, Amanda, on August 21st, 2010. Soon after, their house became a dark spot in the sunny community of Serra Mesa. Due to the fact that two oily rags were left out unattended, they soon self combusted. Their house nearly burned down.
Katrina and her sister had been visiting family in Florida earlier that week. Their flight was to come in that Saturday. Katrina’s sister called their mother to come pick them up from baggage claim. Their mother answered the phone in complete and utter shock, and simply told Katrina’s sister their house was on fire. The two girls sat at the airport, waiting for their uncle to pick them up. While sitting, they looked at each other in a flustered state, asking “where would we live? Did everything burn down? Are the animals alright?” Upon returning to the site of dreary ashes, the girls hugged their parents and siblings in relief that no one was hurt.
Currently living in a rental house in Carmel Valley, the Schroeder family has until New Years Day to move out of the rental due to insurance complications. When I asked Katrina where they plan to reside after New Years Day, she informed me that her family “either has the option to live with their gracious aunt and uncle, or can live in an RV until the house is rebuilt.”
Katrina tells me she “has a new perspective and [has learned to] appreciate the truly important things in life.”
She believes a house full of memories is something difficult to let go of, but new opportunities are always awaiting.
I want to spend the rest of my life surrounded by happiness and kind hearted people. I love the sunshine and the pouring rain; everyday is just as beautiful as the one before and the one to follow. My dream is to travel the world, learning about new cultures and cuisines. My favorite days are those jam packed with different activities, different places to visit, and different people to see. From a young age, I found interest in documenting my adventures with a camera. I was amazed at how you could click a simple button, and capture a lifetime’s worth of memories. Crazy, isn’t it? Before my passion for photography came my passion for figure skating. Some day, I hope to teach underprivileged children how to ice skate. I want to share my passion with kids who may not otherwise have the opportunity to do so. Following in the footsteps of my older brother and sister, I am currently a sophomore at Torrey Pines High School in Carmel Valley San Diego. I’m also actively involved as a Youth Counciler with Outside The Lens.