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Woolsey Fire Recovery: First Home Is Rebuilt In Malibu

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In a week full of tough news, there was a bright spot. Laurie Brennan's home in western Malibu is now the first to be rebuilt and occupied by the owner after 2018's ferocious Woolsey Fire. Brennan and her two dogs are back inside more than a year after the Woolsey Fire destroyed her home and more than 400 others in her city.

It was the most amazing feeling the first night walking down the hallway because a lot of the house I kept the same. I stayed within the same foundation, I was able, my foundation had to be tested. So a lot of the house is the same -- like you walk down the bedroom hallway and you feel like you're back ... like the house didn't burn.

Brennan cut the ribbon alongside city officials on Monday. She spent her first night in her home last week, but said it didn't feel real until after the ceremony. She says she bought her home just a few months before it caught on fire. Malibu city officials say one rental home has also been rebuilt.

The Woolsey Fire broke out in the early afternoon of Nov. 8, 2018. In all the fire:

  • Destroyed 1,075 homes and 46 commercial structures
  • Burned 151.5 square miles across two counties
  • Forced the evacuation of 250,000 residents
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Student journalists at Pepperdine University produced the report below.

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Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the ribbon cutting happened yesterday.