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Rebuilding expo helps Marshall Fire survivors start their next chapter

The Home Builders Association of Metro Denver hosted an expo with local builders, contractors and financial institutions on Saturday in Louisville.

LOUISVILLE, Colo. — Families who survived the Marshall Fire are still trying to piece together how they'll rebuild their homes. 

Out of more than 1,000 homes destroyed, 460 families have rebuilding permits. 

On Saturday, local builders, contractors and financial companies were ready to help Marshall Fire survivors with the rebuilding process.

It was part of a rebuilding expo in Louisville hosted by the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Metro Denver with 40 booths offering information and support for folks who still need help.

"I went out on the deck that day, I still remember seeing the smoke," said Larry Boven. "At the time I really didn’t think it was going to cross the highway."

It took Boven more than a year of planning to feel ready enough to break ground on a new home after losing their last one in the Marshall Fire. Trying to figure out how much insurance will cover, energy codes and building materials all become overwhelming, especially when reliving the trauma of that day. 

Larry and his wife, Mary, had lived in their Louisville home since 1993. 

"Like Mary likes to say, it was going to be our forever home, we thought," he said. "Almost 30 years later, it was gone." 

Now they hope they can build their second forever home in the same spot they've been for decades. 

Once they settle on which builder to go with, they hope to break ground in June. 

"At first I really didn't know if I could do it, because a lot of people were telling me Larry, at this age, at this point in your life, why are you wanting to rebuild your home?" said Boven. 

But for the Bovens, their home wouldn't be the same without their community. 

"It's for Mary, a lot of it is about Mary," said Boven. "They’ve surrounded her, sort of speak, with their love and attention and I really want her to be back where she was and she can go to the rec center every day just like she used to do."

He said Mary walked to the rec center every day to see friends. They couldn't imagine living anywhere else. 

"This community is really – they embrace you," said Boven. "And, so Mary can be right there in her forever home again."

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