SANTA TERESA, New Mexico (KTSM) — A Santa Teresa family lost their home, dog and two birds, due to a fire that started because of an electrical shortage. The fire happened at 9:45 a.m. Oct. 12 and lasted all day.
The Gardea family told KTSM they lost everything in their home along Torrey Pines Drive..
They said the fire started around 9:45 a.m. and burned through the house all day until about 6 p.m.
Rosalia Gardea, the owner of the home, said officials told her the fire started due to an electrical shortage starting in the living room all the way up to the third floor.
Gardea said it was a normal day and they didn’t know about the fire until they got home.
She said when she got home and entered the garage door, smoke hit her face. She then screamed out to her daughter to call the neighbors and call 911.
She said she tried to enter the house to get to the safe to get some important papers but it was impossible.
“I kept coming inside the living room and looking at everything and then going outside in distress. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I thought to myself, this is a joke. Somebody’s playing a joke. I kept looking at the walls bubbling and burning. And then I look, I went outside and I was in disbelief and crying and I couldn’t believe it,” Gardea said.
When KTSM visited the home, the crew noticed ash, rubble and discoloration in the whole home.
Gardea said she gets sad entering their home because it is no longer their home, no longer a place where they can live.
“It’s made us as a family, come together more value, value your your life, value the community,” she said.
Her advice to the community:
“The best advice that I can give to anybody out in the community. Look at your insurance,” Gardea said.
One of Gardea’s daughters told KTSM she can’t explain how she feels other than she lost something huge in her life and all of the memories are gone.
“I walked up to the door and I saw like the door over there was just completely black. And I remember like I dropped my phone in like a panic and I called 911.”
“And I remember seeing that the windows are all broken and I peeked in and everything was just like black. I couldn’t see anything from all the smoke,” said Valentina Gardea, daughter of Rosalia Gardea.
Valentina Gardea said one thing she will miss that she lost in the fire is one of her homecoming mums.
The family asked for the community’s help as they will have a long road ahead of them.
Rosalia Gardea said they currently live in her parents’ house in one bedroom and they take turns on who sleeps on the bed and the floor.
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