NewsMarshall Fire


Marshall Fire victim selling cleaned-up lot, plans to move beachside

Posted at 4:44 PM, Mar 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-19 19:10:43-04

SUPERIOR, Colo. — A 74-year-old man who lost his home to the Marshall Fire has cleaned up debris from his lot and has put it up for sale in hopes of fulfilling his goal of living beachside.

"At my age, you know, the clock is ticking," R. Paul Williamson said.

A day after the fire destroyed his Superior home of six years, Williamson was already coming up with plans to rebuild it. With a background in sustainability, he built the home that once stood in the 13,285-square-foot lot.

"My initial intent was to build back again because that's the emotional thing ... to make things right," he said.

But after weighing the options, and the toll rebuilding would take on his health, he had a change of heart for a change of scenery.

"I decided that there are other things in this life. I've been there, done this, already. There's other stuff out there," Williamson said.

Now, he's looking at selling his lot and moving somewhere with a beach, as first reported by the Denver Gazette.

"I'm gonna have to go to Florida to start with. I liked going down [to] the Keys. I used to live in the Virgin Islands, so the Keys kind of gives me a little bit of a feel of the Virgin Islands," Williamson said.

To help make this goal a reality, a for-sale sign is now up where his mailbox used to be. His asking price is just shy of $1 million.

The "value added" includes $55,000 it cost him to restore the lot following the Marshall Fire.

"I don't think you'll see this kind of progress anyplace else and any disaster area," he said.

Getting to this point wasn't easy. After deciding to clean the lot up himself, without the help of Boulder County, the Town of Superior forced him to stop for at least two weeks, he says, as they worked out the permitting.

He was eventually allowed to continue with cleanup, he says, as did some of his neighbors.

"The people here have kind of the same mindset that I do. If you got a problem, deal with it. Don't wait on the government or somebody that hasn't done it before to tell you what to do," Williamson said.

Two weeks into putting his lot up for sale, Williamson says he hasn't received any offers. But his neighbors tell him people are stopping by every now and then to pick up some information sheets attached to the for-sale sign. It won't be long, he says, before he's beachside.

"I'm almost ready to go now," Williamson said.

Denver7 has reached out to Boulder County to find out how many homeowners, like Williamson, have opted out of its debris removal program but has not yet received a response.