GATLINBURG - At the Campe's property off Laurel Mountain Road, the sound of progress comes in the form of concrete. Lots of concrete.
The couple, Ivonne and James, also known as Jim, are rebuilding their destroyed home under Firewise guidelines.
"Firewise" is the official name for a program created by the National Fire Protection Agency. On their website, the program "encourages local solutions for safety by involving homeowners in taking individual responsibility for preparing their homes from the risk of wildfire."
The Campes, who lost everything in the Sevier County fires, felt compelled to rebuild with Firewise guidelines to protect their home in the future.
"I wanted mine to be one of those that didn't burn, but it happened, so next time if in the unlikely event that it was to happen again I definitely want to be here," Yvonne Campe said.
Their contractor, Hal Wilson with Allied Builders Incorporated, said building Firewise is not a complicated project.
"Concrete siding, metal roof, those things would retard spots. Nothing will be fireproof but it does help," Wilson said.
Wilson is happy to help get the Campe family back home with a more reliable roof and a strong foundation.
"The pillow your head is on is your pillow, and that means something and that's important to me," Wilson said.
The Campes have lived all over the world and could go anywhere, but they're choosing to stay put for many reasons. They now have peace of mind they're safe.
"I'm here because I love it here. This feels like home and it will always be home for me, and that's why I'm here. I'm going to stay here," Campe said.
To learn more about making your home or community Firewise, click here.
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