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Workshop For Fire Victims Held In Ventura

VENTURA (CBSLA) — More than 32,000 homes burned in the California wildfires last fall.

As KCAL9/CBS2's Greg Mills reports, State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones and his team held a one-day Q&A for fire victims on Saturday at Ventura College.

Ventura homeowner Brian Hauter was at the workshop.

Hauter and his wife Carolyn have lived in the Ventura Hills for 20 years. Firefighters were able to save their home in the Thomas Fire. But smoke and soot damage drove them out of there.

"The house is not livable," said Hauter.

For them it's been a two-month learning experience.

On Saturday Hauter went to the workshop along with 67 other homeowners/fire victims.

"I was able to sit down with a representative for about 20 minutes," said Hauter.

"Here to help them.  Go to bat for them if they have a dispute with the insurance company," said Jones.

He's been doing that. Insurance companies claiming mud flow and mudslides not part of their policy?

Jones reminded them last Monday that state law says if fire is to blame for mudflow then it is covered.

"I'm working with AAA here trying to get my restoration company paid,"  said Hauter.

His questions answered, Hauter went back home and back to work with Carolyn. Hoping as soon as the restoration company is paid that restoration process can be restored.

"It consumes you 24/7. This is your life now. It is my life now," said Hauter. "But, I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel."

Click here for wildfire resources from the California Department of Insurance.

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