Lake County fire victim gets home for the holidays

CLEARLAKE OAKS, Calif. (KGO) -- The rain fell in Lake County Friday morning and for the first time in months some fire victims have roofs over their heads that they can call home, at least temporarily.

One woman who lost her home in the fire just moved into temporary housing provided by FEMA in Clearlake Oaks.

For those who lived in the 1,200 houses in Lake County and Middletown that burned, some have not had a place to call home since the September fire.

On Friday, one of the last residents to find temporary housing finally moved in. It is a home, but not exactly a house. For Susan Revier it represents a welcome shelter after a season of life shaking storms.

"It was not until Monday afternoon that I realized from all the reports that my house was gone," Revier said.

Her house was gone along with every other in Anderson Springs. It's all that Revier, a retired fourth grade teacher from the West Contra Costa County School District, could want after the fire consumed everything she owned.

"A notebook with drawings of my children as babies, all my books, my mother's hope chest," Revier said.

FEMA has been putting in units for weeks. Revier was one of the last to get a set keys from what FEMA describes as having been a complicated search.

"Everything is burned down, the terrain, the trees. We have had trouble with accessibility," said Ron Chadez of FEMA.

To date, FEMA says it has spent some $40 million on grants, assistance and low-interest loans to victims of the fire.

Revier had insurance on her home, but not for living expenses. So while she rebuilds, or buys elsewhere, her place represents roots, even though it comes with a trailer hitch.

"I'm really grateful to have it," she said. Revier said she's even planning on decorating for the holidays with Christmas lights.

In Lake County, every step is a big one.

For full coverage on the Valley Fire, click here.

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