Looters Target Evacuated Home In Newbury Park During Camarillo Springs Wildfire (VIDEO)

A Southern California family is grappling with both good and bad news in the wake of the Camarillo Springs wildfire.

First, the good: homeowners Paul and Shelley Whyte are grateful that firefighters were able to protect their brand new house from the flames. Paul told CNN's Piers Morgan Thursday that he was "very fortunate" and grateful for the three firefighters who saved his home from the fire's path.

"It's very reassuring to meet people like that -- people who are professional, who know what they are doing. Put me at ease," Whyte said. He had bought the home four months ago and was still in the process of moving when the fire had begun.

However, when he and his wife returned to their old home, they found that looters had stolen almost everything that wasn't nailed down. Lawn ornaments, bird houses and even their welcome mat had been stolen, reports KTLA's Steve Kuzj.

"The only thing I can think of is somebody desperately wants to redecorate their porch," said Shelley Whyte to KTLA in the video above.

The Camarillo Springs wildfire began Thursday on the edge of the U.S. 101 freeway near Thousand Oaks. At its height, the wildfire threatened over 4,000 homes and scorched 44 square miles, but only 15 homes were damaged thanks to the work of almost 2,000 firefighters and the preventive measures that area residents had taken to protect their property from fire.

Authorities ruled out arson as the cause for the wildfire, saying instead that it was started by an "undetermined roadside ignition of grass and debris," reports the Associated Press. Officials expect that the fire will be fully contained by late Tuesday.



Wildfire Burns In Southern California