Fresno family loses home and 10 pets in fire

Alyssa Flores Image
Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Fresno family loses home and 10 pets in fire
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A Fresno family didn't just lose their home to a fire, but also their beloved pets. Flames broke out Friday night, forcing them to start over.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- When Shaundra Wilcox was driving home Friday night, she never imagined she would pull up and see this.

Crews responded to a fire at the home she and her family rent near Thomas and Adoline in Central Fresno

"It is unimaginable watching everything go up in smoke and seeing your 17-year-old daughter covered in ash," she said.

Saundra says her daughter and roommate were home at the time and all got out safely. But her husband went back inside for the pets.

Shaundra and her family are animal lovers and even foster vulnerable cats and dogs to eventually adopt.

Her husband and firefighters were able to rescue six cats and dogs.

"They are heroes, all of them," she said. "Everyone that was there that night was a hero."

But not every animal was saved. Ten cats and dogs were killed in the fire. Some foster animals, some pets of their own.

"They were our babies," Wilcox said. "They were not animals. They were our babies."

Shaundra says her daughter is distraught after losing the cats who gave her comfort.

"She had to leave her own cats behind," Shaundra said. "She is on the spectrum and those are her support animals."

Fire officials have ruled the fire as accidental and say it may have been caused by an overloaded circuit -- not uncommon in older homes.

The family says an after-market all-in-one charging station for a smartwatch, ear pods and phone purchased on Amazon was among the devices plugged into that outlet.

They are warning other families to take caution with the devices they use in their homes.

Fire investigators say, they can't pinpoint the exact reason the circuit caught fire. It will be up to an insurance investigator to determine if a specific device led to the blaze.

Amazon released the following statement: "We are deeply saddened by this report and are currently investigating. Safety is a top priority at Amazon. We require all products offered in our store to comply with applicable laws and regulations and have developed industry-leading tools to prevent unsafe or non-compliant products from being listed in our stores."

Shaundra and her family did have a small renter's insurance policy but that money will only get them so far as they start over.

A GoFundMe has been started for the family.

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