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Homeowners find hope after 2007 fires

November 20, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
After a wildfire incinerated 178 homes and structures in Arrowhead more than a year ago, many have rebuilt and are giving hope to others who find themselves in the same dire situation.The scenes of wind blown fires consuming homes have been all too frequent in recent months. Many homeowners have lost everything.

In October of last year flames roaring through Grass Valley near Lake Arrowhead destroyed 200 homes.

Homeowners Mark Furstman and Randy Zuckerman were left with nothing. But they are rebuilding in a relatively short time.

The hope is that many more of the recent fire victims might benefit from their experience.

"After we first looked at it when the house burned down we thought about it for a few days. We really loved the area and we decided that we were going to rebuild up here," said Furstman.

The co-owners are knowledgeable and lucky.

"For a lot of people up here this was their primary residence and they lost a lot of their personal items. That was much more devastating then for us -- as a second home," said Furstman.

"You need to surround yourself around good professionals. We were fortunate to have a good insurance company that came thru for us. We didn't have any real problems with them. They made payments very quickly," said Zuckerman. "I know a lot of our neighbors up here have had terrible problems in that regard. There are resources that I assume are going to be available in the communities of the recent fires to help people. I strongly suggest people take advantage of those resources for that assistance."

The situation here is far from the norm. Many families whose homes burned down in the recent fires are still dealing with insurance companies and planning departments. It can be a long tedious process.

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