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Bastrop Fire Victim Finds Hope In Simple Things

Updated: Tuesday, September 4 2012, 06:01 PM CDT

September 4th is the one year anniversary of the Bastrop County Complex Fire. It was the most devastating of the Central Texas wildfires burning this time last year.

The wildfires in Bastrop chewed up 34,000 acres and destroyed 1,691 homes. According to FEMA, 276 of those homes were not insured and many more were underinsured. That's made the rebuilding process tougher for those who still want to call Bastrop home.

Early on September 4th, Bryan Dixon and his wife were ready to do battle. They thought if the wind cooperated and they were lucky their house might stand a chance.

"We didn't see the fire and all of a sudden it was there," said Veronika Greenwald. "And he (her husband, Bryan Dixon) came back and said you've got to get whatever you can in the truck. We've got to go. So we got into the truck and literally drove through the fire."

Days later, the couple returned to their home and saw a pile of ash. Veronika and her husband lost just about everything.

"You have to envision this was all gray, all ash. There was nothing," said Veronika.

Except, what became their inspiration to not give up.

"The rose bush right here bloomed, started blooming. And Bryan said we've got to protect this rose bush, it's a sign that our lives are going to be rebuilt. And he was right," said Veronika.

If all goes as planned the couple will be out of their FEMA trailer by the end of the year.

"It looks like we're going to have a home again," said Veronika.

They'll break ground later this month on the same spot as their old place. Veronika can already picture it.

"Driving up the driveway to our home, to our beautiful home, I envision lots of things. I envision a beautiful front porch where I love sitting out. And I think I’ll keep things very simple," said Veronika.

"If I've learned anything at all, everything can be taken away in the blink of an eye. I don't think I would want to acquire a lot of possessions again," said Veronika.

Despite being humbled by the fire Veronika's lasting impression isn't of the devastation, it's of the rose bush that inspired her and her husband.

"Bastrop is home," said Veronika.

The Bastrop County Long Term Recovery Team has been instrumental in helping the uninsured and underinsured rebuild their homes.

To find out more about the non-profit organization, go to Fire Victim Finds Hope In Simple Things

Click here to see more Central Texas Wildfires

Central Texas Wildfires - Bastrop Map

Central Texas Wildfires - Bastrop Map

Bastrop Anniversary Events

Tue. Sept. 4, 6:30 p.m.
A Night of Hope, Hyatt Lost Pines

An evening remembering the last year and looking forward toward a bright future. For tickets and more information contact Jennifer Long, 512-461-9418 or Sponsored by Bastrop County Long Term Recovery Team.

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