A Fire Destroyed Their Dream Home, Forcing This Couple to Rebuild


When a fire tore through the forest outside Evergreen CO in 2012, it destroyed the 1200 square-foot home that Kristen Moeller and her husband David Cottrell lived in. Scrambling to escape, they left just about everything, saving only their wedding photos. Upon returning, only a charred totem pole remained standing. Their house, boat, and belongings were vaporized.
They would spend the next two years displaced from their property, living at friend's houses and in an airstream trailer. When a government rebate finally came through, they started thinking about rebuilding on their property. A friend suggested they pitch to Tiny House Nation, the TV series on FYI Network so they did. Two hours later they heard back. They were approved to be on the show.
With help from a Miami-based company, Cabin Fever, they started the process, opting for a 500 square-foot home that would cost much less than their previous house. The home is built using Cabin Fever's pre-fab units, with two "bump out"s on either side that offer a bit of extra space for a home office and washroom.
Earlier this year, they received clearance from the zoning boards and were approved to move into their new house. The change hasn't been without its share of difficulty though. For instance, the couple shares a small office and when they're both on the phone it can be a challenge. They can't make trips to Costco to fill up on a month's worth of groceries, and their two Rhodesian Ridgebacks seem to occupy the lone couch space more often.
But those challenges are a trifle compared to the newfound freedom their tiny home provides. It's built completely off the grid, relying on solar power for energy. Their view stretches for miles, overlooking the charred remains of trees into an expansive forest far beyond.
Learn more about this couple's journey and check out more photos of their home below.

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Mike Meisner

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2 of 9 comments
  • Eleanor G
    on Oct 6, 2014

    I think this is the couple chainsaw artist, Rick Krupicka, carved a beautiful Phoenix Totem Pole for. I hope they post a picture of it on their yard. It is one of the most beautiful totems I've ever seen.

  • Annie Doherty
    on Aug 23, 2016

    Kudos to them both, it could not have been easy after losing all of your possessions and living with friends and in a trailer for two years. It may not just be monetary, maybe after the fire they knew what was essential and just wanted to be settled in their own home. I think that they are really brave and determined people and wish them all the luck in the world. Coming back from that experience couldn't have been easy for them, yet they triumphed obviously a strong couple who deserve to prosper.

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