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NoCo Rebuilding Network helping victims of High Park Fire rebuild

LAPORTE, Colo. — More than 89, 000 acres burned and 284 homes were destroyed in Larimer County during the huge fires that lingered between late spring and early summer.

Now with a coalition of more than 50 building professionals, many of whom donate and volunteer their time, a handful of former home owners are seeing their new homes get reborn.

“It’s amazing!” said Pat Baker. “They actually used my old foundation to build on saving me tons in concrete costs and now my 1968 vintage home is getting rebuilt with all the new bells and whistles — solar, fire-proofing, and stucco  which is fire resistant how cool is that?”

The contractors joined forces with the Northern Colorado Rebuilding Network which is the brainchild of Phil Benstein and following a series of fundraising efforts and donations, NoCo is handing out rebuilding grants.

“Thirty-seven homeowners have signed up to rebuild,” said Benstein. “They will be eligible for the grants and we expect many others to also sign-up for the grants. This is kind of like old fashion ‘barn-raising’ from back in the day.”

While the first home in the Davis Ranch neighborhood just picked up a Certificate of Occupancy, Baker’s home is being completed very quickly.

We found the outside pretty much done, with painting and sanding ongoing inside. Up the mountain Gary Lemert’s home is set to go on its foundation this week.

Thru his tears Gary told us, “We lost 30 years of our lives up there in that fire.”

The families here and around the state fighting with insurance companies for full-value of their policies for their homes and possessions, all hope the new session of the legislature will finally pass a bill mandating insurance companies pay the amounts being insured, which would mean families would be able to focus on rebuilding not wrangling over how much was lost.