First cabins being rebuilt one year after Pigeon Forge fire
Our NBC News partner at WBIR are reporting that sounds of progress echoes through the mountains at the Black Bear Ridge Resort as construction workers rebuild one of the resort's cabins.
The cabin, belonging to Tim and Sharon Lavender, is the first of the completely destroyed cabins to be rebuilt since the March 2013 fire.
Sharon Lavender said, "Sunday afternoon, we got a call from our management company at about 4:00 p.m. who said there was a fire at the resort and that they think our cabin might be involved. And then they called back about 15 minutes later and said your cabin has burned to the ground."
Tim Lavender said, "We were just heartbroken. We really couldn't believe what was happening."
The couple lives in Nashville, but said they frequently make their way to Sevier County to enjoy the area's terrain with relatives. When they're not using their cabin, The Lavenders rent it to others. In fact, a Massachusetts family was renting it when a fire broke out at the cabin next door one year ago.
The March 2013 fire spread across about 160 acres, destroyed 53 cabins, and damaged another 20 cabins. The cost of the destruction was more than $11 million. At its height, about 100 firefighters from about 30 fire departments fought the fire. It took several days before the flames were under control.
The Lavenders said many of the cabins that sustained some damage, not completely destroyed, have been repaired. Although they're the first of the owners who lost everything to rebuild, The Lavenders said they won't be the only ones.
Tim Lavender said, [Other cabin owners] were talking about rebuilding. So there will be a few who will rebuild. I believe in a year or so it will turn around and be back to normal."
The Lavenders expect their cabin to be rebuilt by the end of March 2014.
No one was hurt during the March 2013 Black Bear Ridge Resort fire.