- Associated Press - Monday, July 6, 2015

WILLOW, Alaska (AP) - A group of volunteers is working to build homes for those who lost theirs in the Sockeye Fire.

Krista Fee started the Willow Community Rebuild Project after learning that several of her friends had their homes destroyed in the fire. The project quickly gained 150 volunteers and raised more than $27,000 to help build new homes, reported KTVA-TV (https://bit.ly/1CkVAu0 ).

“It’s amazing. It’s tremendous. I never would have expected it,” Fee said.

On Sunday, volunteers gathered at the Willow Community Center and began construction on the first cabin. Once the home is complete, it will be moved to its permanent location.

Among the volunteers was Bob Chlupach, who lost his home in the fire and will be getting one of the cabins.

“I’m not used to being on the receiving end of things,” Chlupach said. “It causes me to pause, and at the same time we’re extremely appreciative of the outpouring of support that we’ve gotten.”

The plan is to build seven cabins for people who were uninsured when the fire hit, at no cost to the homeowner.

“Most of them are not uninsured because they just didn’t have insurance, they are uninsured because insurance companies denied them insurance or they just couldn’t afford it,” Fee said.

Fee said the project has also received other donations, such as furniture and appliances, to make each cabin livable. The goal is to have the homes completed by the end of October.

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Information from: KTVA-TV, https://www.ktva.com

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