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New home brings new beginning for Waldo Canyon Fire victim

By KRDO.com Staff
Published On: Apr 08 2013 07:00:53 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 08 2013 07:15:02 PM CDT

Maddie Olson lost her home to the Waldo Canyon Fire last year, but now she has a home that is built just for her that will allow her to live independently, despite living with cerebral palsy.

During a scene that looked more like an episode of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” 20-year-old Maddie Olson saw her new home for the first time on Monday morning.

Equipped with wide hallways, hardwood floors, a microwave built into a drawer and an elevator, Olson’s new home gives her total access to the entire house.

Olson also has her own apartment, complete with a kitchen, in the basement of the home.  She says the home allows her to be independent, something she was never able to experience before.

Olson’s home in Mountain Shadows was the only home lost on her street during the Waldo Canyon Fire.

After the initial evacuation, Olson had to move from hotel to hotel, and finally to a small townhome before her new home in the Peregrine neighborhood was finished.

“Technically, we moved about six times.  So, it was kind of weird,” said Olson.

Olson said she owes a big "thank you" to the man who built her home, David Hammer.

Hammer, owner of Hammer Custom Homes, said he understands Olson as he, too, is in a wheel chair.

“It was a personal mission for me to build their house just because Maddie and I connected instantly,” said Hammer. 

Hammer said he believes that while he cannot rebuild memories, he can help  Olson and her family move forward.

“They went through an awful experience and it was an opportunity for me to give them a new beginning,” said Hammer.

Olson’s new home was decorated with a Hawaiian theme, with artwork Olson painted adorning the walls.

Olson’s only roommates are two guinea pigs, named Brownie and Cupcake.   She told KRDO Newschannel 13 that all she has to do now is fill her kitchen with groceries and plan her housewarming party.

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