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Rebuilding After A Fire Is No Easy Process

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Art Arehart and Judith Burritt tell 4 On Your Side Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks about rebuilding after a fire. (Credit: CBS)

Art Arehart and Judith Burritt tell 4 On Your Side Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks about rebuilding after a fire. (Credit: CBS)

CONIFER, Colo (CBS4) The Lower North Fork fire has burned more than 20 homes. Those families are facing a long process of filing insurance claims, rebuilding and replacing everything thing they owned.

Art Arehart and Judith Burritt know that process all too well. The couple’s home burned down in 2009 from an electrical fire. They say the process of getting everything back that you once had is arduous, but they say that you can’t give up.

“Don’t look back at what you don’t have. Stay focused on what you have at the immediate moment. Don’t be overwhelmed, because it can overwhelm you,” Burritt said.

RELATED: Questions & Answers About Colorado Wildfire Liability

In August of 2009, Burritt and Arehart lost everything they owned. It’s taken 2 years and 4 months to rebuild. They offer this advice.

Know your insurance policy:

– The exclusions

– The limits

– The deductibles

“Go get yourself a mailbox, post office box so you know where your mail is going to go. And take care of getting your propane tank turned off and your utilities, that would be the immediacy,” Burritt added.

She also recommends you write down everything you can remember in terms of the content of your home.

“Make a list visually, room by room, start writing down everything you remember that you had in drawers, closets, shelves.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Lower North Fork Fire

Burritt and Arehart’s video files of their home were destroyed in the fire. They only had 10 minutes to evacuate. As the Lower North Fork fire burns in the mountains near their home they’re prepared to evacuate again. The couple got a pre-evacuation notice by phone. They packed their paperwork and important documents, as well as, medications, insurance information, and valuables. They are no strangers to fire.

Insurance experts recommend you do an annual insurance check up with your agent. It’s an opportunity to touch base on how much insurance you have, what’s covered, and to what level the insurance will pay if you have to replace everything.

RELATED: More Reports By 4 On Your Side Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks

- Written for the Web by CBS4 Special Projects Producer Libby Smith

Wildfire Resources

- Visit CBSDenver.com’s Wildfire Resources section.

- Read recent Wildfire stories.

Wildfire Photo Galleries

- See images from the most destructive wildfire (Fourmile Fire) and largest wildfire (Hayman Fire) in Colorado history.

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