Clovis house fire destroys boxed-up, move-ready home

March 2, 2013 12:55:21 AM PST
Investigators say a fire that ripped through a Clovis home was accidental. The fire started in a garage where the tenants were getting ready to move and had most of their belongings boxed up inside the garage.

They say they've lost nearly everything and are now wishing they hadn't given up their renter's insurance.

The smoke coming from this Clovis home at First and Pollasky Avenues could be seen for miles.

Fire crews heard three explosions coming from inside the garage where tires were bursting and welding equipment was melting.

Frank Rocha now regrets the work he was doing right before the flames broke out.

Frank Rocha, fire victim said, "A spark erupted when I was outside working on the Jeep."

Rocha says it's been a rough year. His wife battled cancer, he lost his parents, and then he lost his job. In a cost saving move, he decided to give up his renter's insurance.

Mottola Rocha, fire victim said, "little things like insurance that we don't think about or think can lapse and then this happens."

Clovis fire chief Mike Despain says most fire victims don't have renter's insurance, and many of those victims like the Rocha family lose everything.

Michael Despain, Clovis Fire Chief said, "You really got to weigh out what level of values you have that you need to replace and so when you have a family it's more incumbent that you have clothes, and food and material items for your family."

It was the same story behind the massive fire that ripped through Old Town Clovis last week. Only some of the vendors inside that building had renter's insurance.

As for the Rocha family, they urge others to learn from their lesson and say in the meantime they're doing their best to stay positive.

The chief says they're talking to businesses in Old Town Clovis about signing up for an early detection system for fires.


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