SUPERIOR, Colo. (CBS4)– – In the aftermath of the Marshall Fire in the burned-out neighborhood of Original Town Superior, generators hum. Rick Kupfner moved a couple of camping trailers onto his family property to get started.

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“That’s all I want to do. Clean it up and move on,” he said.

“It’s just the whole process has been rough for him,” said his daughter Elizabeth.

First, there was the fire that leveled several homes belonging to the family where her father Rick has lived most of his 70 years. A man not to sit still, he wanted to get started on clearing the mess so he could rebuild.

“If you have the means to do it yourself, I don’t understand why you have to hire someone else, another middle man basically,” said Elizabeth.

FEMA is indicating it will soon approve clearing away debris from the fire, including using proper remediation for asbestos. Rick says he put up his home in the 90s and there was none. He would rather not wait for FEMA. Some estimates indicate the clearing may not be complete for 18 months.

“If we follow guidelines in terms of wrapping stuff in the dumpsters and disposing of it to the right landfill, I can understand that. And understanding the best practices for drinking water and groundwater, I can understand that stuff,” said Elizabeth.

But her uncle, a licensed electrician started the work to pull temporary power so they can work. That’s where things stopped. XCEL said it needed a permit to hang a box, but the Kupfners haven’t been able to get one.

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“There’s debris removal. There’s getting homes rebuilt. There’s just a lot of work ahead of us and a lot of details associated with every step of the way,” said Superior Mayor Clint Fulsom, noting the removal has to come first.

FEMA is expected to soon approve of a plan that will have it conducting debris removal. Insurance would cover the cost for the insured and others would potentially get assistance. But homeowners will have to opt-in. The Kupfners, concerned about word that clearing may take as long as a year-and-a-half would rather get going.

“We’re not looking to make this a prolonged process. We want to make things a streamlined process. We want to get people back in their homes as soon as we can,” said Fulsom, noting his own mother had lost her home. “But also recognizing that there’s rules and regulations and codes that have got to be followed. And we can’t just throw all that out the window either.”

The mayor noted that they are trying to remain consistent with Louisville and the county.

“We don’t want to have situations where people are saying they’re doing something in Superior that’s different in Louisville. We’d like to avoid that as best we can.”

Requirements of asbestos remediation would also prevent other toxins and hazardous materials from remaining said the mayor.

“Not only asbestos but all of the other things that burned up in the fire. You had TVs, you had batteries, you had all types of different things that create hazardous chemicals.”

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City leaders have been talking about streamlining the process and potentially rebating fire victims their permitting fees. In addition, there’s a discussion about a volunteer force.

“We’re working to get a community group together that will be able to meet with builders and try to coordinate economies of scale when it comes to building time. Work with homeowners to kind of advocate with their needs.”

A few blocks from the Kupfners’ in Original Town, John Arsenault was looking at his parents’ home. There was already heavy equipment in the yard and rolls of dried grasses to put down to hold back contamination.

“They love the home, it’s their roots, their origin, our story’s here.”

They planned to rebuild, he said, but smaller. So far, they’d been pleased.

“I know that city hall has been a pleasure to work with, for some people.”

But Rick Kupfner was anxious about permitting that his daughter explained was vexing.

“You know for something that could be done simply there’s always a few extra steps. And I’m not sure what the answer is for something this complicated. Maybe more accessible information that’s not just online.”

The fire took a lot from people anchored into the homes they’ve owned for decades.

“They’ll never get back what they had. You know they built a life and none of them are going to be able to get back what they lost,” said Elizabeth Kupfner. “And every day my dad wakes up to this and it’s like the nightmare that keeps coming back.”

Alan Gionet