Gatlinburg couple starts rebuild of new ‘Firewise’ home

Local News

Pete Jucker has a detailed plan for every part of his soon-to-be home in Gatlinburg. 

“I quickly realized that we were not going to rebuild the same things we had and open ourselves up to the same problems that we had,” said Pete Jucker. 

Pete Jucker and his wife Joy lost their North Chalet Village cabin in the 2016 wildfire sand have since made it a priority to make their new home firewise.

“We started looking at the houses that didn’t burn and asked the big question, ‘Why is that house still here? What around it prevented that fire from consuming that house?’ And as we asked more questions we found out about firewise.”

The Juckers are taking several firewise ideals and adding them to the rebuild of their home which started Thursday.

“It won’t be on pylons or stilts, it’s going to be completely enclosed underneath, so, that it can’t form a chimney type effect if there is any fire around,” said Joy Jucker. 

They say their neighborhood is now firewise certified with about 30 homes rebuilding with firewise ideals but they would like to see more. 

“The response is kind of lukewarm,” said Pete Jucker. “People have lives and unless it becomes important to them their not going to get involved.”

The Juckers are proud of the progress they are seeing in the community, and as of Thursday, their own home. 

“We’ve got an awesome contractor and an awesome product that’s going to go in,” said Joy Jucker. “We’re excited to watch it happen and start recording it with pictures and video.”

To learn more about the Firewise program go to their website.

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