Rebuilding after the Yarnell fire: First families prep to move

Rebuilding after the Yarnell fire: First families prepare to move in

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YARNELL, Ariz. -

It will still be a few weeks before the families will be able to get a certificate of occupancy and officially move in, but the families, the community and those who helped get these homes built are celebrating.

Christmas is Debi Keehner's favorite time of the year, especially the decorations.

"I've been listening to Christmas music and decorating the tree and it helps to make it feel like home," she said.

But this Christmas is a bit different.  The tree is the only thing in this house while crews work on the finishing touches of her family's new home.

"That's been the most important goal for us to get back home," she said.

The Keehners, along with six of their neighbors, lost everything when the Yarnell Hill fire ripped through their homes.

"This year has gone from total devastation to about as happy as you can get and up and down throughout the whole entire six months."

Friday was one of those happy days as the Keehners and their next door neighbor, Shannon Smith -- the first two families to rebuild in Yarnell, prepared for a big celebration.

"We are going to have a whole bunch of people come and gather and celebrate with us.. our new homes that have been rebuilt since the fire," said Smith.

It's a gathering to say thank you to countless people who helped these families rebuild.

"Just a hard couple of months, but this is something to rejoice about," said Smith.

"It's been an amazing process.  I don't know how else to describe it outside of amazing," said Keehner.

All of the Christmas decorations for both of those homes were donate to the families.

 

 

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