The Wildflower Condominiums is the only multi-family community in Louisville that was affected by the Marshall Fire, so getting the permits needed and builders lined up was a huge challenge, but now that's all taken care of, and soon 30 families will have their homes back.
Pia Gerstel is one of them. She has always known that wildfire is a threat to Coloradans, but she never thought her home in suburban Louisville would be in the danger zone.
"To be honest I grew up in Boulder, used to wildfires. I even joked with my parents who live in Boulder, 'oh if there's an evacuation you'll come over my place because it's in Louisville. It will never burn. It's fine,'" Gerstel said.
She had just moved into her townhome at the Wildflower Condominiums one year before the Marshall Fire took everything away.
The complex lost 30 homes. Gerstel's was one of them. Since then her life has been dealing with insurance companies, rentals and insecurity.
"It's been an absolute mess," she said.
It's the same story with Mark Appelfeller, who also lost his home in the Marshall Fire, but is also the HOA president for the complex.
"It's been a very long process just to get to this point," he said.
Finally, after nearly a year and a half, they have broken ground to rebuild.
He says it took a huge team of builders, politicians, county officials, attorneys and community members to even get this project started.
"It was such a huge disaster and so many people with great big huge hearts have stepped up to fill all kinds of different voids," he said.
Gerstel says this is the first step to normalcy for her and of all the things she lost, she is looking forward to having her peace of mind back the most.
"It's very exciting. Finally getting moving. I never thought it would take a year and a half," she said. "I am so stressed about payments and my rental and where I'm going to be and everything. So, just having my place back is going to be amazing."
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