Mobile Home Fire Leaves Family Devastated - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/8/04

Mobile Home Fire Leaves Family Devastated

A Lubbock family is sifting through the ashes of what's left of their home after a devastating fire tore through it Friday night.

West Carlisle Fire Department and Shallowater Fire Department responded to a mobile home on fire in west Lubbock County. NewsChannel 11 spoke with the family who is coping with the aftermath.

"We just grabbed the kids and ran out as quick as we could," says Mary Gutierrez.

A Friday night at home turned into a frenzy as Mary and her sister Cecilia's family tried to escape death.

Around midnight on Friday, Cecilia Sanchez's mobile home in west Lubbock County caught fire, the cause, still unknown, but left the family with nothing. In daylight, the devastating aftermath becomes a shocking reality.

"We came out looking and we smelled it and was like, you know, we weren't cooking or anything, so we came out of the bedroom and we heard her screaming and coming out, we went in," recalls Mary.

While Cecilia lie sleeping at around 12:00 a.m., she felt heat on her face and that's when she realized her closet was on fire.

"I panicked right here by this window I looked out the window, I looked in the bathroom, and looked through the door, and I was like, chance it through the door," says Cecilia.

Chief Tim Smith says this scenario is all too familiar.

"Our response times are further than what they are in the city because we have more miles to travel, so many times, the fire gets a better handle on it then we can take care of," he explains.

Leaving Cecilia and her family watching their possessions burn before their eyes.

"So, what are some of the things that you're going to miss the most?" we asked.

"Pictures, all my kids pictures were in there," say Cecilia.

And memories that can't be replaced, but Chief Smith says this should be a lesson to take preventative action when living in the country.

"Watch out for your electrical appliances. Make sure they're not overloaded. Many times, out in the county, a factor is overloaded power strips," say Chief Smith.

"For now, we're just trying to take it day by day," says Mary.

If you would like some information on how you can help this family, call the American Red Cross at 765-8534

 The family has been provided a place to stay for two nights and some clothing for the time being, but they can use all the help they can get.

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