Yesterday, FOX21 News came to one of our job sites in Black Forest and talked to us about rebuilding from the Black Forest fire. We met on the property of Bill & Linda Batson, whose home burned in the fire six months ago to the day. Bill recounted how he had been working on some home improvement projects with his son, and on the way back, noticed some smoke rising from the trees in what looked like their neighborhood. By the time Bill had returned home, there were already flames on his property. Read the web story here, or watch the video below.
One of the silver linings that we found in the process was the view of Pikes Peak: as the reporter mentions, the Batsons had only a very tiny view of Pikes Peak in the past, and now that a lot of the trees are gone on the west side of the property, they have a large, panoramic view of the Peak. As we build their new home, we’ll be incorporating a design with large windows that will take full advantage of this new view.
So far, we’ve rebuilt 10 homes from the Waldo Canyon fire, and we’re looking forward to breaking ground on at least 8 homes so far (including the Batson’s home) that are Black Forest fire rebuilds. We’re honored to be a part of the process for each and every family we work with. To view some photos of the homes we’ve rebuilt so far, check out our photo gallery here and stay tuned as we post more updates throughout the process.
Andy Stauffer: “We’re always looking for the silver lining, and it can be tough when you’ve lost everything.”
FOX21: “When Andy Stauffer started rebuilding homes after the Waldo Canyon fire, he had an idea: to turn a burned tree into a beautiful mantel.”
Andy Stauffer: “Having the trees available to us from the property allows us to take something that they have enjoyed in another form for years, and convert it into something that’s going to go forward in the new home.”
FOX21: “Then Andy’s neighborhood met the same fate, just six months ago during the Black Forest fire. He saw those trees as a way to help his neighbors keep a piece of their past.”
Andy Stauffer: “We were spared; not everybody was so lucky.”
FOX21: “Bill Batson and his wife were one of those families with less luck.”
Bill Batson: “She got three bags of clothes and we got out of here, and when we left the fire was already here. So we drove out of here with flames right at the end of the driveway.”
FOX21: “This charred wood can’t hold up a house, but it can provide comfort, as they adjust to what’s new.”
Andy Stauffer: “We incorporate some of the exterior—the bark—and strip it down to where you have just a little hint of what was there before.”
FOX21: “While the flames took so much away from hundreds of Black Forest residents…”
Bill Batson: “…that’s why we came out here: the trees… we don’t have quite so many now.”
FOX21: “It also cleared out this beautiful view. One of the silver linings, keeping Bill’s spirits high.”
Bill Batson: “There’s no other way to be, you know. You deal with what life gives you and you move on. …and in this case it’s gonna be good news for us.”