‘Only home we ever had’ destroyed by Collier brush fire

Reporter: Lindsey Sablan
Published: Updated:

NAPLES, Fla. Laurence LeBuff was the first to build on the road bearing his family name.

It was a small home. Three bedrooms with a carport.

They moved into it in 1970 and lived there until a brush fire destroyed it on Tuesday.

“You know, it’s all material stuff but the memories are still there,” he said Thursday. “I had stuff actually from my birth. I had the bracelet that they brought me home from the hospital with when I was born.”

LeBuff, his wife and daughter were able to grab clothes, toothbrushes, medicine and their cat.

“We were prepared for it, you know,” he said. “It’s actually worse today than it was yesterday because a lot of stuff wearing off and starting to kick in. Emotions are kicking in.”

LeBuff’s home was one of three consumed by an ongoing brush fire that entered into its fifth day on Thursday.

“This used to be the front steps going up to the porch and that’s the carport where I had the tractor,” he said while walking through rubble and charred appliances.

Losing everything was better than the alternative, he said.

“Everything else can be replaced,” he said. “Lives can’t be. That’s the most important thing.”

WINK News reporter Taylor Bisacky spent time with LeBuff while he surveyed the damage:

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