Madera family loses home to early morning fire

A family in Madera is figuring out how to recover after a fire engulfed a relative's home, destroying much needed medicine for one family member with a debilitating disease.

The Madera Fire Department first got reports of fire near the 200 block of Santa Bonita Street at 2:48 a.m. Friday. By the time they got on-scene, the fire completely engulfed the house. They quickly went to work to put it out, but the house is now a total loss.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but investigators suspect it started in the living room.

A married couple was inside the house when the fire started and fortunately made it out with no injuries.

The couple is Abigail Morales' father and stepmother. She found out about the fire around 5 a.m. after someone knocked on her door.

"She told me my step mom is outside. I kind of pause and then I'm like, how's my dad," Morales said. "She tells me my dad's okay and I kind of just breathe. (I know) everything's going to be okay."

Not only is the house a home for his father, but she also lived in the house at one point. Seeing the house in its current state, Morales describes it as "devastating."

However, the most devastating thing is the loss of her father's medication. Since he has Parkinson's, he relies heavily on the medicine.

If he doesn't have his medicine, Morales said, "He gets stiff, he gets rigid and he's unable to walk."

For Morales, the fire was a reminder to keep family close, because you never know what you'll wake up to.

"Every day is precious," she said. "You never know what things can happen. Sometimes we have ups and downs, but life is so precious, so (we have to) be loving and caring toward each other."

Morales said they've been able to replace some of her father's medications, but some require doctor's visits to get replaced. She did say her father and stepmother had their house insured.

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