‘Miracles happen every day’: Utah family finds silver lining amid ashes of house fire

Posted at 9:35 PM, May 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-01 09:03:22-04

WEST VALLEY CITY - Watching the family home go up in flames was heartbreaking, but buried among the ashes in the aftermath was a miracle.

"Miracles happen every day; you just need to know how to recognize them," said Christina Dignam, who grew up there. She said the house was nearly 60 years old.

"My dad bought this house and built it for $13,000," Dignam added. "You can't even buy a car at that price anymore."

Dignam has since moved out of the house and started her own family, but it didn't make it any easier to deal with the loss. The home caught fire in West Valley last Tuesday afternoon, and burned so quickly that firefighters had little chance of saving it.

"My house is gone; my memories are gone, my things are gone," she added.

The house is soon-to-be scheduled for destruction, and the family's car is totaled. But, out of the ashes, came something unexpected.

Dignam says she spotted a white box through a burned wall in the upstairs room of her parents' home, so she yelled for a worker inside to lift the lid on it.

"Pictures just came flying out of that area," she said.

The family found hundreds of pictures and albums that their mother had spent years collecting, some of them dating back over a hundred years and five or six generations.

"My mother was the family historian," Dignam said. "We managed to save so many of the photos."

Gathering in front of the family's burned down house Wednesday, Christina's five siblings held different photos in their hands, reflecting on the memories behind them. Their mother passed away years ago, but thankfully, they still have photos to remember her.

"All of us just saying somehow my mom had a hand in that," Dignam said.

The family's GoFundMe page can be found here.