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Family ready to make new memories in rebuilt home

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Road to Recovery: Family rebuilds home after fire

MCKENZIE RIVER VALLEY, Ore. -- One couple who lost their home in the Holiday Farm Fire considers themselves fortunate. They are among the few dozen that have been able to move into a rebuilt home.

After the Holiday Farm Fire, Geoff and Lisa Blumhagen sifted through the remains of their home in search of a wedding ring. They found it in the ashes of their home in 2021, one of the few bright spots to emerge after the fire.

A year after the wedding ring was found, a new home has sprung up from the ashes, pristine and free of the dents and scratches of the old home. As the Blumhagens prepare to move in though, they reflect on the long road back, recognizing many of their neighbors haven’t yet had the chance to settle back in, and some never will.

“Now that we're very close to the end, we understand why a lot of our neighbors just sold their property and walked away,” Lisa Blumhagen said.

Even the Blumhagens rebuild wasn’t without its share of issues. They got a nasty surprise when an entire electric cable proved to be faulty and had to be replaced, meaning construction couldn’t begin.

“Our electricity that runs down this whole driveway from the pole down to the electrical box... Lane Electric thought that it was in good shape, and when they came out to switch it on, the whole cable was bad. So that took two months to get replaced,” said Geoff Blumhagen.

One thing the fire didn’t and couldn’t take are the years of memories. Geoff’s parents first owned the home and their children cherish all the years spent there with their grandparents. Now, as they prepare to move in, Geoff and Lisa Blumhagen are grandparents with a six-month-old granddaughter. After two years in a rental, Geoff and Lisa Blumhagen are eager to create new memories on the banks of the McKenzie in a new home that will soon have all the dents and scratches of the old.

Geoff and Lisa Blumhagen at their rebuilt home

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