A Year Later, One Fire Victim Has A Long Ways to Go

It has been one year since the May Firestorm.

Greg Saska has been sleeping at a motel 6 for the better part of a year now.

His home on Skimmer Court in Carlsbad was the first to burn after the Poinsettia fire jumped El Camino Real one morning last May. 

"It's been challenging, but I've done the best I can," said Saska, standing on the concrete slab where his home of almost 40 years used to be.

The Poinsettia Fire burned about 660 acres in Carlsbad and destroyed 11 single family homes as well as several other structures including an 18 unit apartment building.  

All of those homes have either been rebuilt or are in the process of being rebuilt, except Saska's house.  He didn't have fire insurance.

"I thought it would be okay. Mistake. I won't do that again," he said. 

Saska says the fire destroyed almost everything he owned, including 100 year old paintings, a classic Lincoln and some irreplaceable family belongings. Only the garage survived the flames.

Because there is no insurance policy to cover his losses, Saska has started a website and posted a sign at the end of the driveway asking for help.

He's planning on putting a manufactured home on the property to replace the 60 year old brick and adobe home.

For now, the acre he owns is surrounded by charred eucalyptus trees. But if you think that would darken his mood, think again. 

"You have to take it easy," he said with a smile. "What's the point in getting depressed about all this? I have to be glad that I'm still alive."

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