Northern California fire victim helps decorate Rose Parade floats

IRWINDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- A woman who lost her home in the deadly Northern California wildfires says volunteering to decorate the Rose Parade floats has been therapeutic for her.

Stephanie Stauer's home was completely destroyed when a fire tore through the Santa Rosa area earlier this year.

"It's therapeutic. It's a way to get out of my head and it's something that I absolutely love," she said.

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Tara the cat, the heroic feline who chased off a dog that attacked her young owner in 2014, will be featured in a special Rose Parade float.

Stauer used to love decorating her home for the holidays, and she says decorating the floats is a way to continue the tradition.

The NorCal mother says the family of her daughter's best friend reached out to her after the fire. The family had an extra, furnished home that they used occasionally, and they offered the house to Stauer's family.

"We were incredibly blessed," she said.

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Have you ever wondered what the inner workings of a Rose Parade float look like? Check out one unique float that provides a behind-the-scenes look.

This is Stauer's first time seeing the Rose Parade floats in person, and she said it was very impressive.

"It's kind of like peeking behind the curtain at 'The Wizard of Oz,'" she said.

You can watch the Rose Parade on New Year's Day on ABC7.

PHOTOS: 2017 Rose Parade float winners
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