The City of Malibu hosted a ribbon cutting event to honor the first officially completed fire rebuild of an owner-occupied primary-residence home in Malibu.
Laurie Brennan, who lost her home in the Trancas Highlands during the Woolsey Fire of November 2018, moved into her newly rebuilt house this week.
“I would not want to go through the experience of losing my house to the Woolsey Fire, but I feel truly blessed for all the wonderful people who have supported me and the good experiences that have come out of this,” Brennan said in a statement provided by the City of Malibu. “I could not have done this alone, nobody can do this alone, so get help. I had no experience building a home, so if I can do it, anyone can.”
Statistics provided by the City of Malibu showed there had been steady progress on home rebuilds following the fire, including one other home that was completed earlier this month (which was not the primary residence of the homeowner). In all, 488 homes in Malibu were destroyed in the blaze; 200 single-family homes within Malibu city limits are in “various phases of the permitting and planning processes,” according to information provided by the city. “Fifty-seven homeowners have received their permit to begin rebuilding construction work.”
That leaves another approximately 200 destroyed homes that have not yet been entered into the rebuild process.
For city officials, Brennan’s home represented an important milestone in Malibu’s recovery.
“The Woolsey Fire is a dark chapter in Malibu’s history, but today, all of Malibu joins in celebrating an important turning point in the story of our recovery as the Brennan family moves back into their home,” Mayor Karen Farrer said in a statement. “We have a long way to go. There are hundreds of displaced families that are working hard to get their homes rebuilt and get resettled, and the city is doing everything possible to help them get there. I applaud the Brennans for their optimism and perseverance and I hope that this moment will serve as a light at the end of the tunnel for every other homeowner whose home was destroyed. You will get there, and we will help you.”
City Manager Reva Feldman, who presented a plaque to Brennan celebrating the completion of her home rebuild, said she was honored to be part of the moment.
“The last year has challenged all of us like never before,” Reva Feldman said, according to the city. “The rebuilding effort is the most important thing that we as a city could undertake. So it is an honor to be able to share in this moment. Laurie’s resilience is an inspiration to me and everyone in City Hall. I am committed and the staff is committed to doing everything we can to help Malibu rebuild.”