My great-grandma was eighteen when the fire that followed the earthquake burned down her family's home. Both she and her San Francisco house had survived the earthquake just fine, but the fire did them in--or, more specifically, my great-grandma never got over her well-to-do family's loss of everything they had had, including her father's business and her own treasured ability to look down on less wealthy people. She was in her 90s when she died, and I was 7. I remember being delighted when my mom told me the news that she had died. I hated visiting my great-grandma and being told that children should be seen but not heard, whenever I tried to interrupt her rarely-ending lamentation against the world that had done her wrong. Her other favorite topic was how rude and clumsy and otherwise substandard she thought I was. (Clearly the hatred was mutual.) Even now, I refer to her as my great-grandma, mainly because she wanted me to address her as "Great-Grandmother." Nope, I'm still not going to to it. I win.
My great-aunt, who was a few years younger than my great-grandma, lived through the same experience, and regarded it as a great adventure. All of her stories about the earthquake and fire and having to camping out at the Presidio for months sounded exciting, even fun. I loved visiting her.