One Pocatello man has begun building a memorial to remember the homes and pets lost to the Charlotte Fire.
Steve Leaman said he wants to make sure people’s memories of the fire don’t fade over time.
“All this black will be gone. It will be green and everything will change again. But this is just kind of a reminder for everybody of what happened here,” Steve Leaman said.
Leaman was hit particularly hard by the fire. He lost two homes and a cabin he built with his own hands.
“You go to work one day and turn around and see a cloud of smoke and not have a clue that the cloud of smoke is going to take everything. It’s just kind of shocking to lose everything that you had,” Leaman said.
For the memorial, Leaman has set up what’s left of a jeep, a metal skeleton scorched by the intense flames. In front he plans the memorial in stone sections.
One will list the names of people who lost their homes. And another, supported by Alpine Animal Hospital, will be dedicated to the animals that lost their lives to the fire.
“Many people have lost pets and part of their lives. There’s so much loss with this whole fire and it just escalates when someone has lost their best friend as well,” veterinarian Rena Carlson said.
Leaman said the memorial is something he felt he had to do.
“Starting over again at 55 years old, when you start over you’re not sure where to start, but for me looking at this memorial everyday will make me want to keep going,” Leaman said.