After the Waldo Canyon fire, Lindsay and Glenn Dougherty were ecstatic that their home, while damaged, survived the blaze.
But the impact of the fire would soon prove to be beyond the soot, heat and water damage that their home has suffered. Their daughters started having nightmares, and the sound of any siren, for any reason, would put all four kids on alert. They could visit their home, but 6-year-old daughter Morghan wouldn’t step inside.
Their cherished home had become a place of fear.
Cue reality television.
Sunday afternoon, the cast and crew for a new television show on HGTV was at the Doughertys’ Mountain Shadows home to give them some renewed hope after the fire. The still-unnamed show focuses on restoring houses after catastrophic events, and the Dougherty home was perfect for it, said Breana Leader, the show’s co-producer.
Family members were home Sunday morning and, after a bit of filming, were kicked out until Thursday afternoon, when the improvements will be completed. The show will premier on HGTV in 2013 and the Dougherty episode is expected to air in six to eight months.
Lindsay Dougherty hasn’t been told what the crews are doing to her house — a premise of the show so they are extra-surprised when they see all the work that’s done. She hopes that, whatever they do, it helps the kids forget about the night the fire crested the ridge behind their house.
“If we can get anything positive out of this, and a bit of a surprise to replace those bad memories, it will all be worth it,” she said.
First thing, crews will have to fix the damage caused by the fire. The Dougherty home survived; homes next door and across the street didn’t.
Crews will need to fix the water damage inside, take care of the melted shingles replace the windows blown out by the heat of the fire, said builder Scott Hente, co-owner of Robert Scott General Contractors that’s doing the work, and Colorado Springs City Council President.
All the work has been done by his crews before, Hente said, but the job would normally take them a couple of weeks, rather than the show’s four-day deadline.
After the major restoration work is done, designer Kari Openshaw will step in. She wouldn’t reveal her exact plans for the house, but she said the work to the kids’ rooms will be the highlight of the work.
“It’s important for us to do a good job and do something that is a big surprise, but also something that makes them feel safe to be home.”
That surprise will be revealed to the family sometime on Thursday afternoon — the family hasn’t been told exactly when. In the meantime, it’s been excruciating for them to wait.
“We’ve been out of the house for five hours now, and we’re like ‘Do you think we can drive by yet?’,” Lindsay Dougherty said Sunday afternoon. “But they will kill us if we try.”