Community Helps Rebuild Green Valley Fire Aftermath - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Community Helps Rebuild Green Valley Fire Aftermath

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While the country is focused on relief efforts for the Oklahoma tornadoes early this week, we turn our attention to a disaster much closer to home.

The families of the Green Valley Fire, near Park Rapids, Minnesota, are now rebuilding after seven miles of homes and businesses were burned to the ground.

Valley News Team's Hope Hanselman went to Menahga where the community is sorting through the aftermath to find a solution.

"It's just begun, actually for most of the families," Brad Livingston, President of the Redeemer Lutheran Church congregation, said of the community's fight against the fire's devastation.

The first steps out of the wreckage in Green Valley are leading back to the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Menahga.

"It's hard to see, you know, you build a life, you build a home and then it's destroyed and you have nothing and nobody wants to ask for help," Livingston said.

That's where he gathered the help needed to find a way home.

"I have 12 families that lost everything, but we have 20 other families that have smoke and water damage."

It took just a week to fill this room up, now Brad says he's running out of room but not out of hope.

He's outfitted families with the simplest gifts that seem to have the greatest value.

"I get to play Santa every day," he said. "When a 65 year-old lady comes in and just asks for two cups and sees what's there, and she doesn't want to be needy, then she comes back and is able to outfit a hotel room... It's pretty miraculous."

Now, the church is overflowing with donations, the community is bursting with support and this cup has runneth over.

"The community has banded together-- just normal people, trying to do something good."

The Department of Natural Resources will be holding a meeting for anyone feeling the effects the fire this Thursday at Menahga School.

They'll be making assessments of the damaged property and give advice about how to clean up the burned land.

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