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Mayor Bach welcomes fire victims back to the neighborhood

Mayor Bach welcomes fire victims back to the neighborhood

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Colorado Springs' mayor and his wife welcomed fire victims back to the neighborhood with gift baskets Saturday.

Last summer's Waldo Canyon fire wiped out 346 homes. Bach and his wife delivered gift baskets donated by Panera, Cheers Liquor Mart and Colorado Springs Together to those returning to their homes.

Mayor Steve Bach and his wife delivered nine baskets Saturday, bringing the total number of baskets delivered to 49.

"This is the happy ending. Just to see all these people back in their home after a long, long time," said Bach.

Cat Abate's neighborhood is coming back to life. Her home was destroyed in the fire. She waited 11 months to walk through her new front door on May 6. She said it was worth the wait.

"Everything is beyond my wildest dream. I jokingly say it's my dream house but it really is," said Abate.

Bach and his wife met with Abate Saturday morning and gave her a basket. It included a loaf of bread from Panera, a bottle of wine, a canister of salt and a card.

The inscription on the card read: "Bread - that this house may never know hunger. Salt - that life may always have flavor. Wine - that joy and prosperity may reign forever."

"It's just beautiful," said Abate after reading the card aloud. "The sentiment behind it is great."

Abate's neighbors Jean and Barry Timmons also got a basket. They moved back home three weeks ago.

"You're on the same spot of land but your house is different. Everything is different. It's just a very strange experience," said Jean Timmons. "It's feeling more like home now but it didn't at first. It was like someone else's house that we were living in but it's becoming more familiar. Every day it gets better."

Barry Timmons said the last 11 months were overwhelming and stressful. The couple is happy to be home.

"We thank God, literally. It's a better home, it's a bigger home, it's a beautiful home. It's better than what we had," said Timmons.

Bach and his wife plan to deliver welcome baskets to every fire victim moving back home.

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