SUPERIOR, Colo. — Residents of the Sagamore neighborhood in Superior came together Sunday to celebrate a major milestone in the area’s recovery effort.
All 171 homes in the neighborhood burned down in December during the Marshall fire. On Sunday, the community marked the end of the majority of the cleanup efforts and the start of the rebuilding process.
“If you go back and you look over the last six months and the debris that was here, the burned-out cars, the burned-out trees, to where it is today. I mean, these are now buildable lots. We've got a major milestone achievement here in terms of now, we're at a point where homeowners can actually start picking builders and moving forward with construction,” said Neal Shah from Superior Rising.
The area itself is not much to look at currently. The empty plots of land are flat and covered in hay and orange marker flags. But soon this neighborhood will be buzzing with construction as homes return to the area.
So on Sunday, the community decided to hold a barbeque featuring food, music, giveaways and even massages to mark the milestone.
Dan Cole was one of the homeowners who lost everything in the Marshall fire and attended the barbeque mainly as an opportunity to reconnect with his neighbors and to talk about the next steps for the area.
Cole was at home when the evacuation order came in and was able to escape with his dog but not much else. He’s now in the process of starting to talk with builders to come up with a design for his new home.
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“As soon as we start to have an idea of what it'll look like, we'll be getting excited to come back and live in the neighborhood again,” said Cole.
A group of Santas from the Rocky Mountain Convoy of Toys also attended the community barbeque to give away toys to the children in the community.
“They lost everything. You can see just walking around the neighborhood, everything is gone. If it was in their house, it's gone and part of that may have been memories of pictures with Santa through the years. And so, we were able to replace it and get it started again,” said Tom Carmody.
The group Superior Rising helped organize Sunday’s event and has been a major driving force behind the recovery and community engagement efforts in the aftermath of the fire.
“When we founded Superior Rising, none of us knew what we needed, we just knew that we're going to need more people to help. And that still is really where we are. And sometimes we're down into the policy issues and trying to figure out how to speed up the recovery,” said John Heckman from Superior Rising. “Throughout all this, we're creating community that we didn't really have before people getting to know each other because we're going through all this process together. And these sorts of events are those chances to renew those connections, make new connections.”
In an effort to continue that mission, Denver7 Gives donated $25,000 to Superior Rising to continue with the recovery efforts. The money is thanks to Denver7’s wonderful viewers who have donated hundreds of thousands to the recovery effort.
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