A beautiful mansion in Laguna Beach was only ‘one signature away’ from being sold for $10million before a California wildfire ‘burnt it to a crisp.’
The palatial Laguna Niguel abode was near completely burnt to the ground after a wildfire raged through the region on Wednesday afternoon.
Relator Leo Goldschwartz told the Orange County Register that the 10,000-square-foot home at at 5 Vista Court was about to be sold to new owners.
The mansion was the most expensive in the neighborhood, hitting the market for just under $10million.
‘You cannot duplicate that home,’ he told the Register. ‘The house had separate wings. The adults went one way, the kids went another way…It was like a palace. The house was a really beautiful home. The finishes were impressive.’
The $10million Laguna Niguel mansion (pictured) was only ‘one signature away’ from being sold when the Coastal Fire overtook the home, leaving a shell behind
Only the main structure of the home is left after the fire blazed through the ritzy neighborhood
The gorgeous backyard that featured an inground pool and grassy areas before the fire
The home was left in shambles afterward with debris piles littering the once beautiful yard
The home boasted seven-bedrooms and eight bathrooms, with a separate ‘children’s wing’ and another ‘wellness wing’ for a meditation room, gym, Pilates studio, sauna and steam room
The mansion also included its own pool in the backyard overlooking the California mansions on one side and Laguna Beach on the other
Now, the custom-built 1999 home is among the 19 others that were destroyed in the fast-moving fire, alongside 11 others that were damaged.
The only part left standing is the center structure of the seven-bedroom, eight-bathroom home.
The gigantic home boasted its own ‘children’s wing’ with a game room and study room, as well as a two-story bedroom and a ‘wellness wing to house your meditation room, gym and very own Pilates studio with sauna and steam room.’
It also included a separate outdoor pool overlooking the California mountains and Laguna Beach, as well as a four-car garage and a home theater.
Property records show it is currently owned by a shell corporation, which purchased the luxurious mansion for $6.275 million in September 2020.
The homeowner, who was not home when the fire swept through the neighborhood, reportedly watched the flames overtake his home on security footage.
The new buyers, who were not identified either, are said to be devastated over losing the stunning property, the New York Post reported.
An aerial photo reveals just how devastating the fire was for the exclusive Laguna Niguel community
Firefighters worked tirelessly to put out the blaze. One firefighter reported sustained an injury
Twenty properties were destroyed and 11 others were damaged in the fire
Many homes burned to the ground, taking precious belongings with it as residents didn’t have time to grab their belongings before having to evacuate the area swiftly
The blaze – dubbed the Coastal Fire – ignited near a water treatment facility in Aliso Woods Canyon – between Laguna Niguel and Laguna Beach in Orange County – at 2.45pm and swept up steep terrain amid strong gales.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but on Wednesday night the local electricity company revealed that there was ‘circuit activity occurring close in time to the reported time of the fire,’ as residents say power went out before the flames erupted.
A state of emergency has now been declared, as the Coastal Fire consumed nearly 200 acres and firefighters continued to fight the flames. There is no word on how much of the fire has already been contained.
At least one firefighter suffered a medical emergency as he battled the flames, officials announced on Thursday, and was brought to the hospital. He is in stable condition.
Nearby, Lynn and Keith Morey’s five-bedroom, four-and-a-half bathroom home with a two-story library and office burned to the ground, less than one year after the couple lost their business to another fire.
They had left the home earlier in the morning, ABC 7 reports, and they did not have time to grab any of their belongings. As a result, Lynn lost the only photos she had left of her sister, who had passed away four years earlier.
‘I’m more in shock than anything else,’ Lynn said Wednesday night.
A GoFundMe has now been set to help the couple rebuild. It was then shared on Facebook, by Lynne’s niece, Heather Balaban, who wrote: ‘My aunt Lynn and her husband Keith are the sweetest, most giving people I know.
‘Their mission in life is [to] help heal others,’ she explained, noting: ‘They invite people in their home to stay with them all the time.
‘Unfortunately, last night their home burnt to the ground, and they had no time to grab any of their belongings because they were evacuated in Laguna Niguel.’
As of Friday evening, the online fundraiser had raised $3,400 of it’s $50,000 goal.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Keith and Lynn Morey (pictured here) to rebuild their home. Lynn Morey is holding a wedding portrait of her and her husband that was recovered by a firefighter after homes were destroyed by the Coastal Fire
A resident of the ritzy neighborhood sat with his cat as he watch firefighters work
Another $6.6million four-bedroom, seven-bathroom mansion at 35 Coronado Pointe had also lost its roof entirely to flames as firefighters battled to save the walls and neighboring properties.
Explosions were heard coming from one home – believed to be the sound of ammunition detonating.
Another woman who raised her family in a home that has now been reduced to rubble said she wasn’t sure if they would try to rebuild their $3million house.
‘Maybe it will be too hard,’ she said.
A married couple whose wedding photo was one of the few salvageable items from the fire said it was a bitter blow after losing their business to a blaze less than a year ago.
The community’s former mayor, Fred Minagar, described the once quiet area as being like ‘war-zone’ just a day after the fire ripped through the glamorous neighborhood.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has now approved federal funding to combat the growing fire.
Some homes continued to burn into Thursday morning, even after firefighters spent the night trying to quell the blaze
The Coastal Fire tore through the wealthy Coronado Pointe neighborhood on Wednesday night
‘This support will ensure that state and local authorities have the resources they need to continue addressing this emergency to save lives and homes in our community,’ Representative Michelle Steel tweeted on Thursday.
Hundreds of people were forced to evacuate from their homes in the area of Coronado Pointe, Vista Courte, Pacific Island Drive, Via Las Rosa, and the Ranch Golf Course and Resort at around 4pm. Sheriff’s deputies ran between each house to tell people to leave.
Laguna Beach has been home over the years to famous faces including Diane Keaton, Bette Midler screenwriter and producer Ryan Murphy, and Hollywood’s Golden Age star, Bette Davis.