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Black Forest Fire victim family rebuilds; hopes to inspire others

By Dustin Hodges, Reporter, dustin.hodges@krdo.com
Olivia Wilmsen, Multimedia Journalist, olivia.wilmsen@krdo.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 05:17:23 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 01 2013 02:08:13 PM CST

A family who lost their home during the Black Forest Fire is now one of the first to rebuild. They hope their home can inspire victims who still have a long way to go.

BLACK FOREST, Colo. -

A family who lost their home during the Black Forest Fire is now one of the first to rebuild. They hope their home can inspire victims who still have a long way to go.

"The biggest challenge after the fire was knowing winter was on its way," said Theresa Vialpando-Knoll.

After losing their home in the Black Forest Fire, Theresa Vialpando-Knoll and her husband only had one thing in mind.

"We really wanted to get back on to our property and have a place to live before the winter set in,” she said.

They had an advantage that many others did not.

"My husband's a builder so he was able to go out and get a permit pretty quickly and get building right away,” said Vialpando-Knoll.

After months of rebuilding, Theresa is inviting her neighbors to see their new house.

"You just have to make a plan and stick to it and move forward. That's what we did. That's what we had to do,” she said.

Their new home may not be quite as big and the old house didn't have a motorcycle parked in the living room.

"There's lots of adversity you can get through that,” said Vialpando-Knoll.

But it's full of the two most important things to Theresa; love and hope.

"I hope it is inspirational that with everybody's losses that you can rebuild,” she said.

Theresa received a housewarming gift from a group called "Healing Artist Responding to Trauma or Heart of Colorado. She has been judging paintings done after the fire. She was given one of her favorite paintings on Saturday.

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