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Marshall Fire victim rebuilding his Louisville home himself

Marshall Fire victim rebuilding his Louisville home himself
Posted at 5:58 PM, Sep 30, 2022

LOUISVILLE, Colo. — It’s going to be long road to recovery after Hurricane Ian left a path of destruction through Florid. That extensive recovery period is something people in Boulder County know all too well.

Boulder County communities are still working through the rebuilding process nine months after the Marshall Fire destroyed more than 1,000 homes.

Denver7 spoke to people in the Arapahoe Circle neighborhood in Louisville to see how the rebuilding process is going.

Kurt Firnhaber knows a thing or two about building houses.

"I was a contractor years ago. I've kept up my skills, but haven’t done this professionally in a very long time," he said.

Firnhaber owned a home in the Arapahoe Circle neighborhood when the Marshall Fire tore through Louisville, destroying the neighborhood.

After losing his home, Firnhaber learned his insurance would not fully cover the cost to rebuild, so he decided to rebuild his home himself.

"I'm taking two months off work to get it framed and sided," he said.

Firnhaber and his family built the home 30 years ago. They weren't living in it at the time, and had rented it out. However, the loss still shocked the family.

"It was a big impact for us to lose the home that some of our kids grew up in. And this home was to be part of our retirement, and so we lost that," Firnhaber said.

But he's excited about all of the homes that are under construction in his old neighborhood.

"There’s been a lot of progress in the last two weeks. There’s been a lot of foundations going up, homes going up. Ours was the third in this neighborhood, and now there’s several others that have also gone up," Firnhaber added.

The Town of Louisville has issued 48 permits for new builds. Forty-two permits have been issued in Superior, while 13 have been issued in unincorporated Boulder County.

Firnhaber is hoping the sense of community will make a comeback, too.

"My kids, who are in their mid- to late-20s now, their best friends were little kids in this neighborhood 25-30 years ago. I'm really hoping that what we had can be built back again," he said.

There's still a lot of work to do, but Firnhaber said he hopes the home will be complete early next summer.