One year later: a Barefoot resident's story of rebuilding

North Myrtle Beach, SC - By Jennifer Grove - bio | email

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC(WMBF) - While many people in the Barefoot Resort Community have now rebuilt their homes, one woman says the personal rebuilding process is far from over.

Looking out her new bedroom window in the evenings, Donna Deluca says she often has to do a double-take.

"When the sun sets with all of the trees still back here it is a reminder of what it looked like the night we were running out," Deluca said.

Even in the daylight, the charcoal black trees serve as a constant reminder of the night she will never forget.

"When I woke up I noticed the smoke all in the house and this orange glow," Donna said.

Deluca says her only warning that the fire was licking at her yard came from a neighbor's call.

"When we pulled out of the driveway we could see the flames in the back and both sides of our fence was on fire," she explained.

Donna, her son, their three dogs, and bird were saved, but nearly everything else was reduced to ash.

"It's a rough feeling to lose everything and then start over again," Donna admitted.

The few simple items that the fire did spare have now become invaluable treasures. Some metal and ceramic items were spared along with a patio set, which Deluca has now sanded and repainted. She says they felt that anything that made it through the fire deserved a second chance.

Looking around her home one might assume the beautiful décor would be able to erase any charred memories, but Deluca says newness has its price.

"We do have a different home, and by that I mean it's different in every way," Deluca explained. "We don't have one item that was here before."

She says the items she misses most are homemade gifts from grandkids and personal items from her late brother and father.

Like many Barefoot residents, Deluca has moved-on on the surface, but the struggle is ongoing. She says she still has a number of unanswered questions about the night of the fire.

"Things that happened the night of the fire that never got explained to why certain things weren't done," Deluca said. "And why certain things were done the way they were."

Deluca says she hopes people will understand the process of moving on will be an ongoing one.

"They probably think because it's been a year that everything has been said and everything has been done and just get over it, but its not that easy to do," she said.

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