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Year later, tri-county wildfire victims make long strides

Monday, December 24, 2012

At this time last year, we first introduced you to the Barr family. Despite losing nearly everything in the wildfires of 2011, the husband and wife adopted a family to help this Christmas. For them, many things have changed since last year, but one thing remains the same.

When we met Kay and Rocky Barr last Christmas, they were homeless.

"I still have hope that we'll do Christmas 2012," Kay told Eyewitness News then. "I need all the prayers that we can get."

Their house was ravaged by the tri-county fires. Still, they managed to make Christmas magical, not just for each other but for another family in the same position.

"I just want joy and happiness," Kay said.

Twelve months later, Kay Barr's Christmas prayers were answered.

"We finished one bedroom and one bathroom and then we moved in," Rocky said.

Her husband Rocky -- with help from family, friends and strangers -- has finished the outside of their new home.

"We're probably at 75 percent complete," he said.

And Kay will spend Christmas, with a house full of family -- not in a trailer or a motel -- but right where she belongs.

The last year hasn't come and gone without challenge -- cancer, deaths in the family and Rocky's own illness.

"After our interview last year, he had a double back-to-back stroke," Kay said. "So, this year has been two steps forward and 10 backwards a couple of times, but we persevere, just keep going."

Even with life still in flux, the Barrs never stopped giving. They adopted another family this Christmas.

"There was a lot of people who helped us and I know how appreciative I was, so I just, we need to give back too," Kay said.

We toured the Barrs' new digs.

"It's a big sense of accomplishment, when we drive up the road and there's our house, we're almost home," Rocky said.

And while there is a long road of rebuilding ahead, day by day they're getting there.

"My Christmas ornament there, "believe," it can happen. If you dream it, you can make it happen. It will all come together," Kay said.

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