POSTED: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 6:58pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 7:00pm
EL PASO - Today a Far East El Paso family sifted through damage from an accidental fire that destroyed all of their belongings, and the El Paso Fire Department sent a massage to neighbors.
Flames destroyed the home on Tuesday, but firefighters were called back to the house on Gus Moran early Wednesday morning after a mattress rekindled.
The home is a total loss, but for next door neighbors the fire could have been much worse. One man says if it wasn't for firefighters, flames would have destroyed his home too.
"They did all they had to do to prevent the fire from spreading," Pedro Gurrola said.
Wind was blowing flames towards Gurrola's home, but firefighters quickly sprayed down water to keep it from catching fire.
Now the image of the house burning is ingrained in the minds of neighbors. That's why the fire department is using the tragedy to keep others safe.
Firefighter John Concha walked door-to-door to talk with neighbors about fire safety. It's a topic that usually goes in one ear and out the other, but with tragedy hitting so close to home, neighbors are finally paying attention.
"It's a heck of a reality check, and I know the thought of anything happening to my family or our neighbors, especially if it's something that's preventable, it just seems easier to prevent it than to have to over come it," Mario Comas said.
"It's fresh in everyone's mind. Everybody saw what was happening," Concha said. "It gives us the opportunity to make everybody aware of what steps they can take to prevent a tragedy like this."
The El Paso Fire Department started the outreach program about three weeks ago, and they've already reached out to dozens of families in at least two neighborhoods affected by fire.
The family, whose house was destroyed, has insurance, but they're missing two little dogs that managed to escape. They're asking the community for prayers.