Some Survivors Of 2017 California Wildfires Out Of ALE Benefits, Their Homes Not Yet Rebuilt

 Thursday, November 7, 2019

 NB News

For many people trying to put their lives back together in the wake of California’s catastrophic wildfires, the process of rebuilding can feel like a second hardship — one not inflicted by nature, but rather, by the insurance company they thought would protect them.

Among the more than 4,600 homes destroyed in the Tubbs fire in October 2017 was that of 72-year-old Narsi Samii.

When fire exploded through his neighborhood in Santa Rosa, California, in the middle of the night, Samii and his family fled to a hotel and eventually a two-bedroom rental apartment.

From that rental unit, less than a mile from their burned-down home, he and his wife hoped to begin the painfully slow process of rebuilding their 5-bedroom, 3-bathroom custom house.

They’d called it home since 1989; it’s where they raised their two children and where Samii enjoyed cultivating his mature orchard and garden. “I’m paying $3,500 a month for a property that doesn’t exist,” said Samii, who was evacuated again last week because of the Kincade fire.