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Herriman families moving back in to homes destroyed by fire 8 months ago

Slow going » Permitting processes and a string of bad luck haunted those rebuilding their lives.



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He was grateful for the good Samaritans who came out of nowhere. Local leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gave him vouchers for clothes at Deseret Industries Thrift Store, and the American Red Cross of Utah put him in a hotel while he sorted out his situation.

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Silver linings » If anything can survive a fire, it is the Givans’ family cat, Smudge. They named the white cat because it was covered in gray ash when the family members found it after the 2011 Machine Gun Fire. Smudge had been missing for a week after the fire, and they were sure it had died. Firefighters even told them they found what looked like a pile of fur in the house. Cleaning crews already had been throughout the home, and Tim Givan had searched the home three times himself for the feline. One night Tim Givan went to the property to turn off the water and shined his flashlight on the house and saw the cat just sitting inside a bedroom window.

Michelle Givan recalls her husband walking into the fifth wheel carrying the cat.

"It was like seeing a ghost," Michelle Givan said, adding that this cat survived a second fire, which she hopes will be the last.

Now that the family members have finally moved back, they are looking for the positives.

"The bright side of all this is we were able to fix some things we didn’t like," Tim Givan said, noting the previous layout of the house. "But I don’t think the stress of it all was a justification."

cimaron@sltrib.com Twitter: @CimCity




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