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Family who lost home in fire was looking for fresh start

"I’ve never seen anything like it. The smell, the complete and utter destruction," Lisa Larn said. "It’s just devastating and just surreal too."

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — Hundreds evacuated as the Sunshine Wildland fire burned just north of Boulder last month

The fire started at a home on Sunshine Canyon Drive and then spread, quickly. 

The house was a total loss. Lisa Larn remembered it well. 

"I’ve never seen anything like it. The smell, the complete and utter destruction," Larn said. "It’s just devastating and just surreal too."

Larn and her family were looking for a fresh start. They found it in that new cabin on an old friend's property on Sunshine Canyon Drive. 

"We were going to live the dream of living next to each other, and she sent a text with a really blurry photo saying my house is burning," she said. 

Larn's partner spent months turning the cabin into a home. Two days before they officially moved in, it all went up in smoke. 

Except for some clothes, Larn and her family lost everything.

"Every day there’s a moment where [my partner] James will say, 'You know, I’ll never ever be able to rebuild my book collection like it was,' or 'I’ll never be able to take those photos again,' and those things that hurt rather than the furniture and all that stuff," she said. "It was devastating."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. No one was hurt, but Larn still aches over what she couldn't do in the hours before the fire. 

"When the fire broke out, I was down the hill at a friend's house, trying desperately to get renters insurance for our property that we were going to move into in two days, and as for the last month before, I was getting refused, refused, refused because they wouldn't cover us because there wasn't adequate fire fighting capacity in the area," she said.

No renters insurance means no reimbursement for all that they physically lost. But for Larn's son, the fire took something else. 

"He doesn't want to live in the mountains anymore. For good reason. I see that. We're just hoping lightning doesn't strike twice," she said. 

Rubble may have buried their "new beginning," but Larn knows with time they can always find a fresh start. 

"I mean, we're trying to look at the positive," she said. "We're just very grateful." 

Larn said they are thankful for all the help the community has given them. Friends are fundraising for them as they try to replace all of their items. They are hoping to find permanent housing in the coming months.

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