The Main Stream

Jun 2, 2012 5:38 PM

Victim of Monument Fire rebuilds

TUCSON- Less than two weeks from now marks the anniversary of the Monument Fire.

This fire destroyed more than 30,000 acres and damaged more than 60 homes in Southern Arizona.

One man is now ready to pick up the pieces and build a new home in the charred area but with a new view.

Don Childs is building his new home in the same area that was destroyed by the Monument Fire in Hereford last year.

"The devastation was so terrible, that I decided to build this thing similar to houses you might see in Florida or the tropic areas of Mexico," said Childs.

Rather than having his home at ground with a view of charred trees, he has a view of the mountains all around him now.

Childs said the memory of the fire is still fresh in his mind.

He stayed in his home for three days after he was told to evacuate.

"Suddenly it was upon me and I was standing in my front yard and my flag burst into flames," said Childs. "I left as the trees and the grass were exploding around me."

And although as he drives to his home on ground level, he can still see the aftermath of that wildfire, his new home will be his sanctuary.

"I'm really proud of this house," said Childs. "I'm really proud of this house because I did it myself with the help of my neighbor."

Stranger Cindy Kolb also helped.

"We'll find everything to furnish your house, if you'll allow us to, and he said, ‘ya, sure' because he wasn't going to have any furniture because he had lost everything," said Kolb.

Childs said he's had a hard time getting funds to build this home because he was underinsured, and Cindy's help has been essential.

He said he plans to work on the home for the next three years as much as he can with the funds he has.

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