Yarnell Hill fire update: People who lost everything have hope this holiday season

YARNELL, AZ - The holiday classic "I'll Be Home For Christmas" holds more meaning this year for the people in Yarnell, people who didn't have a home six months ago.

"Because that's all we wanted to do, was come home," Debi Keehner said

Debi and her husband Steve lost everything in the Yarnell Hill Fire.

"When everything was gone we didn't know what we were going to do," Steve said.

Their home wasn't insured, so when it burned to the ground rebuilding seemed impossible. But now that dream is a reality.

"Oh just overwhelmed by all of it. Very thankful," Debi said.

The Keehners can decorate their brand new home for Christmas. It's all thanks to the Yarnell Hill Recovery Group. Through fundraising and a lot of volunteers, they were able to raise the resources to build six homes for uninsured families in Yarnell.

"It's definitely something to celebrate. Just look around, you know, it's beautiful. I can't believe it's happening," Steve said.

One decoration in particular means more than the rest to Debi. It's a chainsaw bear on her front porch.

"That made it feel like Christmas. Because I collect chainsaw bears and, of course, wood does not survive a fire very well," she said.

There will always be reminders of what happened in Yarnell, memories that help bring the community together and make it stronger. But signs of the future make this Christmas seem even brighter.

If you'd like to donate to the Yarnell Hill Recovery Group just go to their website.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments