Amarillo family loses everything in fire, Red Cross steps in - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Amarillo family loses everything in fire, Red Cross steps in

The Amarillo Fire Department was able to save about 50 percent of the property that went up in flames Wednesday evening at 805 S. Adams, but for the family that lived was a total loss.

"We were at the laundromat doing laundry for the kids to go to school and we heard the sirens," said mother Jennifer Gonzales tearfully. "We just ran over here because we saw them by the house and the neighbor said the house caught on fire."

Single mother, Jennifer Gonzales, her nine children and three other family members woke up to a different world Thursday after a small space heater sent their home up in smoke Wednesday evening.

"The heater was in the living room," explained Gonzales. "He said that it exploded and the air from the window where it busted out, it just caught and went from there."

The Gonzales family had only been living in the rental home for about two months before the fire claimed everything leaving them without a home or a Christmas.

"We lost everything," Gonzales said. "Nothing was able to be saved at all. What wasn't lost in the fire was either ruined by water damage or smoke damage really bad. I just wanted them to have somewhere to have a Christmas and I can't even give them a Christmas," she said as she wiped away tears.

Refusing to let that happen, the American Red Cross stepped in to help meet some of their basic needs.

"We've helped provide food, clothing as well as some lodging to make sure they have a safe place to stay," said Executive Director of the American Red Cross Panhandle Chapter, Steve Pair. "I believe that we're going to meet next week and see if there's anything else that we can't do more of."

With only five days until Christmas, they'll need all the love and support they can get.

"We can't do everything but we do what we can," added Pair.

"They were all happy that we were all safe," said Gonzales. "Nobody got hurt and we're all still together."

The Red Cross says the winter months are some of the busiest home fire months of the year. They urge everyone to remember to never leave your kitchen unattended while cooking, always keep heaters a safe distance away from flammable material, and be careful with burning candles.

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