Former Hollywood actor returns home after Lilac evacuation

FALLBROOK, Calif. -- A former Hollywood actor was able to return to his home Monday after being evacuated from the Rancho Monserate retirement community just before the Lilac Fire overran the development on Thurday.

Ed Faulkner has lived in his home for only five years, but inside are countless memories and memorabilia from his acting career. He has been in 30 major films and about 280 TV shows. He acted alongside John Wayne, Elvis Presley and many other recognizable stars. But what he treasures more than the documentation of his time on the big screen are the photos of his family, including his late wife Barbara. When he was forced to evacuate suddenly last Thurday, he feared was going to lose hundreds of photographs in the Lilac fire.

“I was just beside myself,” Faulkner said.

Faulkner was very relieved when he found out his house had been spared by the fire that destroyed more than 20 homes in Rancho Monserate..

“God has been so great to me. I’ve been blessed, blessed, blessed,” Faulkner said.

A whole different emotion took over when he actually witnessed it standing in person.

“Lucky, lucky, lucky --  oh Gosh!” Faulkner said as he drove up to his home. “I’m so lucky. I’m so fortunate. Oh man. It’s all here. Doesn’t look touched. Mother Nature is strange."

Faulkner is grateful that he gets to have the experience of stepping back into his home, but heartbroken that so many of his neighbors will not.

“I thank the good Lord that I wasn’t one that had to endure all of this. I don’t know what I would have done if I would have lost this. I don’t know," Faulkner said.

Faulkner wants to thank his family, friends and fans for their care and support during this tough time away from home.