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Marshall Fire families: The Sherpas can finally clean up

9NEWS follows three families through their recovery process after losing their homes in December to the Marshall Fire.

SUPERIOR, Colo. — When everything is gone, anything is progress. The Sherpa family lost their home in December to the Marshall Fire and have been waiting for the day to move forward.

"It's about three months now or something like that," Karma Sherpa said. "This is very important. Without this, we cannot get anywhere."

This week, debris removal finally started where their home used to stand in the Sagamore neighborhood in Superior.

"We had to get lots of different permits and lots of things. So, it took a while," Dafuti Sherpa said.

The Sherpas are now working on designing a new home with a plan for more fire resistance.

"You don't want the same thing happening again and again. So, whatever you want to do, you want to do better," Dafuti said.

By moving forward, they are moving on. Their son, Sonam, created an image on his computer of what their rebuilt home may look like. Karma said his son's work represents more than just an idea.

"It's like mapping for our mind. So, for our mind, we need some mapping where we need to go. So, that's why drawing is very important," Karma said.

Removing the debris and having a plan is when the real recovery begins, according to Karma.

"This is the bottom. Now, when we get to the bottom. The only way is getting up," Karma said.

Out of the thousand-plus homes lost, most owners selected Boulder County's public debris removal program. But, that process has been delayed by legal challenges. Karma said he chose to hire a private contractor so the clean-up would start sooner.

"I hope that our neighbors get to do this soon and that everybody can rebuild this together," Karma said.

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