House fire leaves family hurting before the holidays

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno family is trying to salvage their Christmas after losing everything they own in a house fire. The Fresno Fire Department said they're still investigating the cause of the blaze. But the victims believe the fire likely started from a portable heater, they kept in their bedroom. It happened early Wednesday morning near Maroa and Shields Avenues.

Not even a Christmas tree was spared, for a Central Fresno family. Their holiday ruined, by an early morning fire.

"Everything we owned is gone everything me and my boyfriend work hard to build is destroyed but all I can do is thank god that we're safe," said Ebonia King. Her family, woke to flames in the middle of the night. Firefighters said there was little they could do but protect surrounding homes.

"Can you imagine waking up to a fire in your bedroom and having to get your family out before the fire consumes the bedroom you're in," said Battalion Chief Tony Escobedo.

That bedroom is in the back of the house where King was sleeping with her boyfriend and one-year-old. It's where all the presents were hidden, waiting to be wrapped for Christmas day.

"They still believe in Santa. And Santa is not coming you know they don't comprehend that. They don't understand that. So it's just going to be hard to explain this to them and see them sad and disappointed," she said. King doesn't have renters insurance. So for the time being, they're staying with her mother. But she knows this story could've had a heartbreaking ending...

"I am thankful to God, that he woke me up and that I was able to get me and my family out of there," said King. They don't have a home to return to, but at least they've got family.

King said right now they're relying on vouchers from the American Red Cross for clothing. If you'd like to help the family, go to their GoFundMe website here

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