Fresno homeowners without insurance lose house and beloved pets

News

FRESNO, California (KGPE) — A Fresno family filled with grief and has no place to go after a fire destroyed their home on Tuesday morning.

Fresno Fire helmet camera footage showed the orange flames engulfing the home near College and Terrace Avenues just before 10 am.

The homeowners believe the fire started due to a bad electrical outlet. The family does not have insurance and lost two dogs and a cat.

“Our pets,” said owner Rober Lopez. “They were still in the house. They didn’t make it.”

Lopez said the home was in the family for several generations.

“A lot of flames,” he said to describe the fire. “Windows burst and a lot of smoke came out.”

Fresno firefighters doused the flames with water, but it was too late, the house was a complete loss.

“Heavy, heavy fire damage,” said Battalion Chief William Veiga. “From exterior to interior, from front to back.”

Lopez, his wife, and two other family members who lived in the home escaped with minor injuries, but because the family didn’t have many relatives in the area they were left without a place to go.

The Red Cross helped pay for a hotel room for the first couple of nights.

“The thing about a house fire is the recovery journey is a long one,” said Red Cross Spokesperson Nicole Maul. “This is where the Red Cross can get them started but it is really going to take the entire community rallying together so they can move forward and start to rebuild.”

Lopez said while material objects can be replaced, their beloved pets cannot.

“We lost a lot,” said Lopez. “I can’t even think about what we lost on top of the value of our pets. The value of the other things wasn’t important. Our pets were.”

Lopez and his wife are retired, and the family has not decided if it will set up a donation page.

Firefighters remind people to always plan an escape route for pets and family members in case of a fire.

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