Madera family loses everything, including their dog, in house fire, but say they are staying strong

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- For the first time Michael Orlando rummaged through his belongings now covered in soot. Just one day after a massive fire destroyed the home he was renting.

Soon he discovered precious photos of his four boys-- pictures he did not know he would ever see again. Smiles that are keeping him in good spirits as the family of six adjust to living with relatives.

Orlando said the transition has been smooth because of loved ones and even strangers around them.

"The outpour that we have seen from this community is impressive, and it has amazed us so far and caught us off guard."

But the doting father said while the donations are great, he wants to work for what is given to them.

"I would like to earn it please," said Orlando. "If somebody would like to donate something to my family give me a job, you want me to mow your lawn, I sing, you want me to sing a song for you, whatever. Please let me do something in exchange."

Orlando says his music has kept him sane during this difficult time.

"Music is my religion man-- it's always been there for me and any emotion I need it to be."

And though losing his home is testing his family's strength, Orlando knows in the end they will be stronger because of it.

"It's an amazing experience to go through a tragedy and know it's for a cause. I don't know if it's God, Buddha, whatever it may be there's a purpose. I feel it and it's going to bring my family together."
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