SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) — It was a homecoming filled with warm smiles and delicious treats on Sunday. Randy and Lisa Suela put a smile on their South Lake Tahoe neighbors’ faces by handing out free ice cream and cookies to first responders and people who returned home over the weekend.

It was the welcome back thousands of residents had been waiting for.

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“You can’t show enough appreciation for how well they fought this and were able to contain it from the city itself,” Lisa said.

“It’s kind of emotional, too, you know?” Randy said.

Part of Highway 50 at the Nevada state was reopened to traffic again. Many locals hit the road again, grateful South Lake Tahoe remained untouched by the Caldor Fire that forced mass evacuations out of the area just a week ago.

“It feels great, and they are coming in slowly a little bit at a time unlike when they were leaving which was a traffic jam,” Randy said.

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“Just really, really happy,” Ryan Hui said.

Ryan had been waiting for the green light to return home with his dog Penelope. He’ll be offering free childcare at his business for families returning home who may need time settling back in.

“To get errands done just figure what they want to do or just relax,” he said.

It’s a Labor Day weekend turned homecoming filled with gratitude from people who were dangerously close to the fire, now ready to get back to what South Lake Tahoe once was.

“The idea of losing our history—that was more devastating than just losing my own home,” Lisa said.

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The sheriff’s office reminds drivers to remain patient, drive with caution and be aware of bears that could be lingering in the area.