Windsor Green residents to be in new homes for the holidays

Windsor Green residents who lost their condos to fire are on track to be in their new homes by Christmas.

Reconstruction is ahead of schedule on the 26 buildings that burned down in the March 16th fire. In all, 110 condo units were destroyed and nearly 200 people left homeless.

Some of the new units look ready to move into right now, while others still need some paint and final touches.

Officials with A & I Fire and Water Restoration, the contractor doing the rebuild, say their goal is to turn over the buildings to the condo owners by December 15, about two months ahead of their original schedule.

"Landscaping is a big part of what we're doing out here, doing some slope and grade, getting approval for those, and we're also working on the final stages for each building," said A & I marketing director Todd Setzer.

Setzer credits the dedication of employees and subcontractors for getting work done ahead of time. He says landscaping may not be completely finished, but the units should be move-in ready in about 30 days.

Rosemary McFarland and her mother lost all of their possessions and their cat in the fire.

On occasion these days, McFarland says she'll think about something she once cherished that's now gone, but the fire has taught her to focus more on life.

"You realize that it was just things, and people have been so generous and so wonderful to us that you just kind of let that go after awhile," she said.

Setzer says the new units will have at least one feature the old ones did not: sprinklers, now required by the building code.

"Heaven forbid that disaster ever happens like this again, but with the sprinkler system, they're definitely a lot safer," he said.

It's not sprinklers, but features like cabinets and flooring that has McFarland excited about her new home.

And, of course, the timing.

"It's the best Christmas present ever. We just can't wait to get home."