Skip to Content

One month on, Charlotte Fire victims struggle to rebuild

It’s been one month since the Charlotte Fire roared through Pocatello, destroying 66 homes, and now many victims of the fire are working on rebuilding.

Steve Leaman lost his home, and everything he owns in the Charlotte Fire.

For the first week after the blaze Leaman lived in a small tent camping out with his two dogs, until a good samaritan dropped off a camper and said Leaman could keep it as long as he needed.

“I did not realize how many friends are out there. The community has been unbelievable, and they didn’t just come in one day and leave, they’re still here,” Leaman said.

Leaman is one of those anxious to get started rebuilding. The hole is dug and the foundation is ready to pour, but Leaman, like many other victims of the fire, has to wait on papers and permits before he can start rebuilding.

“You think things are going to go smooth and you’re ready to roll, and then you get shut down, and it’s just been kind of a roller coaster ride,” Leaman said.

But not everyone is planning on rebuilding where their homes once stood.

“We evaluated things. And with my health, not knowing where it’s going to be in the future, we opted not to rebuild,” Charlotte Fire victim Richard Jeppson said.

Jeppson had recently returned from cancer treatments in Salt Lake City before the Charlotte Fire.

Roads were blocked off when he tried to rush home, his pet dogs and thousands of dollars worth of cancer medication were destroyed.

During the last month he and his wife lived out of the Clarion Inn until moving into a new home they bought on Thursday.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

News Team


KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content