Some, but not all, hasten to rebuild
Five months after the Angora fire swept through a South Shore neighborhood, destroying 254 homes, some families are well on their way to rebuilding or repairing their residences, and others plan to start rebuilding in the spring.
But that’s not the case for all fire victims.
Melissa “Missy” Springer, a longtime employee at Camp Richardson Resort, and her husband, Al, decided rebuilding their lives at Lake Tahoe would be too arduous, and moved last month to Seattle. Three of the couple’s five children live there, along with grandchildren.
“We gave up reluctantly,” Springer said in an interview last month, just days before the couple headed north with their few belongings packed into a trailer.
Springer said the fact she and her husband were renters made dealing with the aftermath of the fire more difficult in some ways than it might be for homeowners.
“When you’ve got that battle (of rebuilding), it keeps you grounded,” she said. “Whey you rent, you truly are cut adrift.”
In a letter to the Tribune, the Springers expressed their thanks to the Tahoe community.
“In the middle of upheaval and grief there was kindness, consideration and caring. For that we will always be grateful,” Springer wrote.
Exact numbers for how many fire victims plan to rebuild are hard to come by, but figures from the El Dorado County building department offer some insight.
As of Nov. 16, the county had received 69 applications for rebuilding homes in the Angora fire area, according to El Dorado County spokesman Mike Applegarth. Of those, 62 permits had been issued.
The county is expecting to receive about 100 more applications in the next few months from those planning to start rebuilding in the spring.
The county has been trying to make the rebuilding process as seamless as possible for fire victims, and is looking at opening a dedicated office at the South Shore for processing applications for work in the Angora fire area.
The new center would be separate from the county’s office for development services on Lake Tahoe Boulevard near Takela Drive.
County supervisors reviewed the proposal on Nov. 6, but asked for more information before making a decision. In particular, officials want a better idea of how much of the cost, estimated at about $198,000, would be reimbursed by the state. The Board of Supervisors will consider the proposal again Tuesday.
Although some fire victims moved quickly to start rebuilding their homes, Applegarth said others may need a little more time before taking on the task. Fire victims already have had to address so many details in the five months since losing their homes, he said.
“I’m just guessing, the volume of decisions is overwhelming to many,” he said.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Local, state and federal agencies are investigating the death of a Placer County resident who had received a coronavirus vaccine just hours before.