Reedley house fire destroys family's home

September 2, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Reedley family is trying to start the recovery process after a devastating house fire destroyed their home Saturday afternoon. The home is on the corner of 11th and North Street. Nine people lived in the home and no one had renters insurance.

There was one core family renting the house, but they in turn allowed some friends and relatives to live with them and share in the rent. Everyone is okay, but they are now starting from scratch. Agapita Ortiz and her family are relying on the Goodwill of others, sorting through donated clothes while staying with a family friend.

Agapita Ortiz says she remembers coming back home, seeing the fire and smoke Saturday afternoon and running inside to get her sons out.

"We didn't smell the smoke so we had no idea it was happening until my mom came in and told us to come out," Adrian Rodriguez, Agapita's son said. "I just stepped out and it didn't take very long for it to fall. It caught on fire so quick."

Agapita says she remembers seeing a bed on fire in one of the bedrooms. Firefighters have not said how the fire started, but suspect it might have been from an electrical problem. The family is grateful to have walked away with each other, even though there was much they wished they could've saved.

"Memories, pictures, my laptop, things I worked so hard to get. Things my family worked hard to get," Adrian Rodriguez said.

Maybe one of the most notable losses was about $1,500 the family tucked away for safe keeping, Adrian Rodriquez says it was to help pay for his education, which will now have to wait.

"It's hard because I do want to want to go to college and get ahead in life," Adrian Rodriguez said.

The family says their landlord plans to rebuild the home, when that happens, they expect to move back in.


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