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Three Months After Brush Fire, Oak Hill Residents Still Rebuilding

CORRECTION: The account number listed in this story was originally listed as 6181231. Gary Hunt with the Oak Hill Wildfire Relief Committee says the actual number should be 6281231.

Work is still underway to restore some of the homes damaged by a brush fire that swept through an Oak Hill neighborhood in April.  One of the uninsured homeowners on Scenic Brook Drive finally obtained permits to allow for deconstruction of her singed home.

“We spent all day Saturday and Sunday filling a couple of dumpsters,” Oak Hill resident and community volunteer Michael Janiak told KUT News.

He said they were “trying to remove the burnt roof and the burnt interior walls, while keeping the exterior stone walls in tact so that we can rebuild her home for her.”

Several fundraisers have been held to help uninsured Oak Hill residents, including bake sales and a barbeque at the VFW.

Some people in the neighborhood are still unhappy over the first large fundraiser, when $11,000 went to reimburse the Red Cross for its disaster relief efforts instead of being handed directly to the affected families.  The Red Cross sponsored the event, and it has a policy of not raising money for individuals.  You can read more about that story here.

But donations are still needed to help with rebuilding efforts, according to Oak Hill Wild Fire Committee chairman Gary Hunt.

“Money is probably the best thing right now,” Hunt said. “Or businesses donating materials that we can use to rebuild, like roofing materials.”

Hunt says, for example, that one individual helped them secure $3,500 of roofing materials for $2,800.  Allied Waste has donated use of their large dumpsters.

“Everything we can get donated means we’ll have money available to spend on other things,” he said. “This is going to be a long process.

Hunt says the rebuilding committee is accepting donations into a Prosperity Bank account that was set up specifically for victims of the fire. You can make a deposit to account number 6281231. The routing number is 113122655.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.