A Willcox resident is remembering her past, while trying to rebuild her future, after a fire destroyed her home on Christmas Eve.

Julie Peterson, had rented her Willcox home for the last five years. Inside the four walls were items she’s owned since she was a child, with some belonging to her own children.

My worst nightmare was to have a fire,” she said. “My pictures were the most important thing ’cause I have lots of pictures of my kids growing up and stuff like that. And now, Ive lost all of them. All their baby pictures and everything. And theyre irreplaceable.

Peterson wasn’t home when the fire started because she was with her family celebrating the holiday. Peterson’s daughter Daleen Collins told her mom about the fire after seeing a post on Facebook that the house was in flames.

I thought she was joking when she said my house was on fire, Peterson explained.

A neighbor called 911 and saved Peterson’s dog after seeing the smoke.

When she and her family got home, the walls were still standing and Peterson thought she’d only have to deal with smoke damage. However, when the fire reignited, it burned most of the house.

All of the stuff- I lost. It just really hasnt sunk in yet,” Peterson said. “There are so many things that were in there. So many memories that wont be replaced.

Since the fire, she spent her free time at the house going through the debris to see if anything survived the fire. Peterson said she hasn’t found much, but going through the remains is causing her to think of old memories and all that she had.

For Peterson, the biggest shock of this all is the support she’s received from the community after the fire. She has received clothing, a car, furniture and money from others to help rebuild her life after the fire.

Its been in a way a blessing having all the help and donations and stuff, so I can look at it in a different light,” she said. “The gratitude is just overwhelming I cant express it.

Peterson said her landlord is giving her until the end of the month to go through the ruble and collect anything she wants to keep.

Small victories, like finding a few photos of her kids, is keeping Peterson motivated to find all that she can even though it looks as if nothing survived.