House Fire Leaves Santa Rosa Couple Homeless

POSTED: Friday, January 23, 2009 - 3:42pm

UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 11:32am

A couple loses their home in an early morning fire. They were living in a trailer that was in the backyard and as the fire picked up, it spread to the trailer home and the family car.

The couple was renovating their house after it sustained severe damage in July from Hurricane Dolly. They were close to moving back in, but that will no longer happen after this morning's fire burned it down.

The fire started around 8 a.m. Francis Padilla woke up around that time. She tells us the power went out and she went outside to check what the problem was. Once outside she could see the flames burning her house down. She got her husband and both escaped and called 9-1-1. There was no time to salvage any of her personal belongings. she just looked over at the house she had spent months and money repairing go down in an instant. They have nothing left. Padilla says the house wasn't insured and all their savings went towards renovation expenses.

Not only is she sad to see the home she lived in for decades burnt to ashes but she, along with her husband, Manuel Padilla, are angry at the Santa Rosa Fire Department.
He says the fire department, which is an all-volunteer department, took too long to respond and blames them for their loss.

Santa Rosa’s Fire Chief says his firefighters did all they could to battle the flames; Unfortunately, he says Mother Nature wasn't on their side this morning. “The wind was pushing the fire in several directions.” La Feria Fire Department assisted Santa Rosa. 5 fire units were used to battle the blaze. The cause of the fire is unknown and remains under investigation.

For now, the Padilla’s will have to live with their children in Alamo until they are able to get a new place. If you’d like to help the Padilla’s and want to donate, you can visit any Compass Bank Branch in the Valley:

Name: Francisca G. Padilla
Account Number: 2515586310

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