Jason Johnson has been hard at work rebuilding a cabin in Chalet Village. With every nail, he gets a little closer to putting a roof back over a family’s head.

“Hard to believe it’s so peaceful and quiet,” he said. “I’m sure when all these houses were in here it would have been a lot different.”

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As he works to rebuild a part of the neighborhood, he’s also become its newest resident. Johnson has a home in Greeneville, but he’s moved into a camper next the worksite.

“It’s close to work, you can walk and have all the stuff you need,” Johnson said. “You don’t have to travel.”

The cabin Jason Johnson is building in Chalet Village.
The cabin Jason Johnson is building in Chalet Village.

The camper is set up on a nearby lot, alongside the lumber and a trailer of tools.

“This is home away from home,” he said. “I’ve got everything I need.”

He said it saves him hours of driving every week, and helps cut down on overhead costs.

“Yeah, anything you can save helps you out, even a few hundred dollars at a time,” he said. “It adds up in the long run.”

In Chalet Village, surrounded by burnt foundations, the company is sparse.

“It’s a ghost town, nothing but bears,” Johnson said.

He said the people that have returned have been welcoming, nd he’s happy to be their new neighbor. He might be there longer than expected.

“If you’re building a house, there’s plenty to do,” he said.

City of Gatlinburg officials were unable to say how many other temporary contractors might be living in the area.