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The Dark Side Of Disaster Recovery

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Twenty-six years ago next week, one of the worst residential fires in U.S. history wiped out 2,843 single-family homes and 437 apartments as it swept across the Oakland, California, hills.

In 18 hours, the wildfire left 25 people dead and caused $1.5 billion in damage.

Just a couple of days after the fire, 75-year old George Boero, 1000watt co-founder Brian Boero’s grandfather, left a note in his next door neighbor’s mailbox declaring his plans to rebuild the house that he and his gritty wife Lu built in the 1950s and lost in the 1991 fire.

The couple did just that, and they were some of the first to move back into the charred East Bay neighborhood, which has been completely rebuilt to become one of the hottest real…


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