Family's emotional return to Coffey Park one year after Tubbs Fire

The Samson family of Santa Rosa moved into their rebuilt home in Coffey Park on the one year anniversary of the Tubbs Fire. 

John and Dominique Samson planned to spend their first night in the home on Monday. They said it feels good to be home.

It’s such a special day,” Dominique Samson said. “ I just thought it was welcoming to to put it all behind us because last year this day was disastrous and chaotic.”

The Samson’s home was one of hundreds reduced to rubble. Now, they’re among the first to return to Coffey Park.

“We’re moving and we’re scrambling around trying to get the rest of our pieces, trying to get everything hooked up and ready to go,” John Samson said.

The couple experienced a few hiccups with furniture and appliance deliveries, but they took it in stride. They spent the day putting finishing touches on their three bedroom, three bath home. 

Next door neighbor Stacy McKee brought flowers to the couple to welcome them back to the neighborhood. Her home is under construction and it’s expected to be complete by the holidays. She said she can’t wait to return.

“I brought them a plant like they did on our first day here and they’re the reason we decided to rebuild,” McKee said. “If our neighbors weren’t rebuilding I don’t think that we would be here right now.”

The Samson’s received their certificate of occupancy on Friday. Their last inspection from the mortgage company will be on Wednesday. They said it is incredible how things have changed in one year. 

“To be back here a year later and there are so many others that haven’t even broke ground yet and they want to be home, that touches me,” Dominique added. “They want to be here too. It’s awesome.”

A neighborhood group called Coffey Strong will hold a one year remembrance gathering in Coffey Park for residents on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 7:00 p.m.