Kara Lemieux and husband Jason Kracht didn't expect to lose everything a second time.
The couple went to Thursday night's Band Together Bay Area concert benefiting Wine Country fire victims for a night of fun after a month of bouncing between temporary homes, struggling to reassemble their lives and sifting through ashes. Like thousands of others, their home burned down during the Tubbs Fire on Oct. 9. They needed to mourn with other blaze survivors, to hear hope for the future from the big lineup of musicians, especially Dave Matthews and Metallica.
But when the concert at AT&T Park in San Francisco ended, their next tragedy began. They returned to where they'd parked at Brannan Street between First and Second streets, and saw shattered glass.
Lemieux knew immediately: Almost all of their family photos and videos, some of the only personal treasures left after flames took everything else, were gone.
Two windows were broken on the Honda CR-V that replaced the car that burned in the fire, and their suitcase, containing Lemieux's work and personal computers, as well as Kracht's computer and tablet, had been stolen. Lemieux had recently transferred most of the photos and videos of their 3-year-old daughter from her cell phone to her computer -- and though her husband has some saved, and a small portion are on Facebook, almost all documentary evidence of their family life vanished with Lemieux's computer.
"Last night, even before we even knew what was going on, I just noticed that my daughter was really grown up now," Lemieux said. "Now I can't really go back and look at baby pictures and videos of how she was when she was really small, or when she first started walking."
Their daughter was born with a rare liver disease and was eventually able to receive a transplant at UCSF, and Lemieux said all the photos from that time period are gone, too.
The laptops were among the few things the family managed to salvage the night they fled the Tubbs Fire.
"We grabbed our computers, my work computer, our daughter's medicine, the cat and some cat food," Lemieux said. "That was it, and then a cop came by and said evacuate immediately, so we left."
At the time, Lemieux said, she couldn't really imagine that they wouldn't be coming back. They lived in the Coffey Park neighborhood of Santa Rosa, and it seemed unlikely to her that the fire could travel down from the hills, jump over a freeway, and rampage straight to their home.
In the morning, though, their entire neighborhood was gone.
Lemieux said that in the month since, she's often felt fortunate that they survived and that they were able to find housing in a modular two-bedroom home through their church in Santa Rosa.
"You go through various stages of grief with losing your home," Lemieux said. "But anytime I've thought about what I lost, or when I get emotional, I'd think, 'We have the computers, and I'm happy about those pictures.' Then last night happened."
The couple filed a report with San Francisco police, and are seeking any information about the theft.
"The fire was a natural disaster that was out of anyone's hands," Lemieux said. "But this one was in somebody's hands. They made the choice to break into people's cars and steal things."
Sophie Haigney is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: email@example.com @SophieHaigney