Homeowners Continue Rebuilding One Year After Caughlin Fire - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Homeowners Continue Rebuilding One Year After Caughlin Fire

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The Caughlin Fire was one of the most devestating fires in Reno's history.

Just after midnight on November 18th, 2011, extreme winds fanned a brush fire near Caughlin Ranch.

The flames burned more than two dozen homes to the ground. Now, one year later, people are still rebuilding. Homes were destroyed and lives were changed, but for the residents on Mountain Springs Road, Sunday was a celebration.

"Wow, I'm here. I'm here," says Judith Reuter. "And, I'm talking to you. That's what we're celebrating."  

Not much on Judith's property has changed since her home burned down one year ago.

"There's still a disconnect," she says. "It's hard to believe that there was a house here that I lived in."

Judith remembers when the flames reached her neighborhood in the middle of the night.

"I was sound asleep, and a neighbor came, my next-door neighbor, came and work me up, grabbed my hand," she says. "We ran."

That neighbor was Victor Valdez. He and his family grabbed Judith, and they all drove off together that night. None of them saw their homes again.

"We're very emotional, but yet, looking at pictures that we took during the night, we can certainly count our blessings," says Victor.

One of those blessings is Victor's son. Victor and his wife had no idea she was pregnant the night of the fire.

"I just get to hold him and know that everything is going to be just fine," says Victor. "That's all that really matters is our new beginning."

A new beginning -- That's exactly what Inez Miles is still working toward. Her house also burned in the Caughlin Fire.

The family has rebuilt since then, and is moving into the new house next month. But, the last 12 months haven't been easy.

"My life has been turned totally upside down," says Inez. "It's surreal, that's all I can say."

We talked to Inez last November, just a few days after the fire. She continues rebuilding her life, and says everything happens for a reason.

"I don't know what the reason is for this, but I have to believe that there was a purpose and that things are just going to continue to get better," she says.  

Judith and Victor also plan on rebuilding their homes. Before the fire, these two people were simply neighbors, but from tragedy, grew a friendship.

"From here forward, we are family," says Judith. "And, we are."

Written by Adam Rasmussen

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