At 2 a.m. on the morning of October 9, 2017, Dorr and Stephanie Eddy received a call from their son, warning them of the nearby Tubbs fire. Shortly after, the local fire department knocked on their door to tell them they had 30 minutes to evacuate.
“I grabbed the cat and practical things like my computer and flash drives,” says Stephanie. “My brain couldn’t accept our home being burned.”
The scene outside was “unworldly” and “unimaginable,” Stephanie says. Stephanie recalls tall flames and propane tanks exploding in the distance. Evacuation traffic was stuck in gridlock. It took the Eddys 3 hours to go just 2.5 miles.
While many other families had to scramble to find a place to stay, the Eddys were fortunate that they were able to stay with their son who also lives in Santa Rosa.
Residents of Rincon Valley in Santa Rosa, California, for more than 40 years, the Eddys had raised their children in their 1936 farmhouse, which was one of the last homes to burn during the blaze.
Stephanie Eddy looks out over what remains of her backyard more than one year after the Tubbs Fire destroyed her 1936 farmhouse in Santa Rosa.
They spent the next year and a half rebuilding their home. Despite the fire and consequent rebuild being a very challenging time for the community, the Eddys chose to remain positive. They focused on the opportunity that lay in the ashes, rather than the loss.
Through Crisis Lies Opportunity
The rebuild process began quickly for Dorr and Stephanie.
An artist and retired designer, Dorr had never designed a home before but was excited to try his hand at it. He wanted a modern design and spent many months working on the details to fit his vision.
More than one year after the Tubbs Fire destroyed their 1936 farmhouse in Santa Rosa, Dorr and Stephanie Eddy rebuilt their home with a modern style, including dramatic Pella doors and windows to complement their rural surroundings.
“We thrived on the whole process and focused on the details of our opportunity,” he says.
Their good friend, Mike Eschenbach of Mike Eschenbach Construction, helped them rebuild their new home. The Eddys looked for many local companies to use in their rebuild and found Pella Windows & Doors of Northern California for their new windows and doors.
The Eddys knew they wanted a key focal point of their new home to be dramatic windows. They researched 5-6 different window companies before landing on Pella.
“We walked in and saw the red entry door at the [Rhonert Park] showroom, and we just loved it,” Dorr says. “The windows, along with everything else, was an easy decision after that.”
Dorr (left) and Stephanie Eddy stand outside their newly built home more than one year after the Tubbs Fire destroyed their 1936 farmhouse in Santa Rosa.
The Eddys say Pella was the only company for the price point and with the options that fit their project needs. They add that the Pella representatives were attentive and knowledgeable.
Building New Beginnings
“I always thought windows were windows, but these have really changed our attitude, says Dorr. “We can’t hear trucks or unwanted outside sounds as before. ‘Awesome’ is the best word to describe it.”
Trees and grassy hills surround the home of Dorr and Stephanie Eddy.
The view of the trees, rolling hills and the nature on their property was an important part of the Eddy’s old farmhouse and their new Pella windows allow them to continue to have spectacular views in their new home.
“It was an emotional process,” said Dorr. “Recreating a home for yourself is both overwhelming and thrilling.”
The Eddys want to continue to see businesses reaching out to help those in need and hope that the community and families going through the rebuild process will continue to use local businesses for their projects.
Visit your nearest Pella Showroom to learn more.