Fire victims sift through the rubble for memories

Windsor Green fire victims were allowed to search Thursday for any memories in the rubble of what's left of their condominiums after Saturday's fire.

"You go to work on a Saturday morning and you got the world in your pocket and you come back and all you got's a pair of shoes, a pair of pants and a shirt left to your name," said resident Vernon Johns. "I don't think I've gotten over the shock yet."

Johns was working his part-time job at a golf course when his home at Windsor Green caught fire.

"You couldn't ask for a nicer neighborhood. Neighbors are tremendous and I just loved my little castle here, it was everything a man could want," he said.

So far, he hasn't found much under the ashes, just a few coins from his coin collection.

"When I found some of the quarters, I thought I hit the jackpot," he said.

Everything else from his past is gone, including the memories of his wife, who died of pancreatic cancer last April.

"Scrapbooks, family pictures, everything that a man would need, I had it, so it's just devastating," said Johns.

For now, Vernon is staying with friends, not the way this retired firefighter thought he would end up.

Vernon also owned a cat with yellow and brown stripes that he called Tiger.

He said he let him out Saturday morning before the fire and hopes he is OK, wherever he might be.