After a June nine-acre blaze consumed a handful of structures including eight homes, Grand County Office of Emergency Management sprang into action to help the affected families. Now, the office’s Cinema Court Fire operation is getting close to being finished, according to a report that Emergency Management Officer Kris Hurlburt gave to the Grand County Council on Tuesday, Aug. 7.
“We’re close to getting to the point where we can close out the operation, which is really good news for everybody. We feel it’s been a successful operation ... the fund itself has reached $107,425.85 so the generosity of this community has just been astronomical,” Hurlburt said. She added that another $20,000 to $25,000 were donated directly to individuals affected by the fire, and that there have been many in-kind donations from the community.
The Cinema Court Fire Coordination Facebook page will be closing with the end of the operation in the next several days, Hurlburt said on Tuesday. “It’s really been successful but with the operation closing, it too needs to close.” There is some reporting that the office needs to do for the state, she said, which will hopefully generate some funds for the recovery effort.
“I think that the families have been quite remarkable and I think that they really felt the support from the county, the council, the community, and that has helped them get through,” Hurlburt said. “I’ve had insurance adjusters saying to me that they’ve never seen anything like this before, so the county should be proud. Thank you everybody.”
As of Tuesday morning, one house already had four walls up, Hurlburt said. “It’s the first house that’s actually being reconstructed.”
Hurlburt revealed that the families affected by the fire agreed among themselves how to distribute the money. Hurlburt said of the approximately 40 people affected by the fire, those who had lost buildings, sheds, workshops and tools but not their homes declined to take any money from the fund. “They wanted it to go to their neighbors who lost the most … One person decided she didn’t want any money for the [unoccupied] house that she lost at all.”
The families agreed that the funds should be divided up by household rather than by house, since several households shared houses. “The other thing they said was it’s time to close the fund. They are the ones who came up with that and they are the ones who set the date for that fund to close. That’s pretty remarkable,” Hurlburt said.
County Council Chair Mary McGann thanked Hurlburt for her leadership on the recovery effort. She also thanked Bill Jackson of the Grand County Roads Department for his work on the cleanup effort.