Rebuilding from the rubble left by the Lee Williams Fire

Published: Updated:
The Lee Williams Road fire in the Picayune Strand State Forest destroyed four Collier County homes in March. Fires continue to menace the county, including a 400-acre blaze in the Big Cypress National Preserver known as the Cowbell Fire (File photo)

Two years ago, the Lee Williams Fire ripped through eastern Collier County, consuming many homes, including one belonging to the LeBuff family. Rebuilding proved to be a challenge and a reward.

Laurence LeBuff has gone through so many emotions over the two years of loss and worry and rebuilding from the Lee Williams Fire.

“It’s been a little over 25 months since the house burned down and so it’s been a long process to go through,” LeBuff said. “But G-d has just been terrific all the way through it and just everybody that helped us we want to thank everybody.”

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

Everybody that is part of the LeBuff’s new beginning. Companies, like Southern Soffit Inc., donated materials and time to build the new home at no cost. Since LeBuff and his dad made the original house that once stood there almost 50 years ago, it was uninsurable.

“There’s some really great people out there that really, really, wanna help people and do good things,” LeBuff said.

MORE: Bikers raise money for Collier family who lost home in fire

While it has been a long process, the floor is all done except for cleaning it because of all the windows, the fans and the lights. LeBuff said there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“A matter of hours of being ready,” LeBuff said.

Grateful for where he stands today and where he stood two years ago. The family will move into their new home within the next two or three months.

“Luckily, fortunately, no one got hurt,” LeBuff said. “That’s the main thing for us was that no one was hurt because the house like you see you can be replaced, but lives can’t.”

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.