Family Losses Everything in Two House Fires

Family Losses Everything in Two House Fires

Martín Di Felice

Desert Hot Springs, CA

A single mother and her five young children were left with nowhere to go after two separate house fires took everything from them.

Kiara Zarate said the fires happened within a month period. She remembers the dates of the fires clearly; first one happened just a week before giving birth, while the second fire happened on Saturday, just three weeks after welcoming her newborn. 

Zarate said, "I don’t want to burden my kids with the problems, but they know what happened and they know that it is going to get better."

She moved-in with her mother and three siblings after losing most of her belongings to the flames. 

But Saturday’s fire took the rest of her belongings and more, "We woke up to my brother just telling us to get out of the house, that his room was on fire and we just ran out, and I blanked out." 

She said she barely had time to react, she only knew to run-out with her family. She said they are getting aid from the Red Cross, and they are able to afford a temporary hotel room with their help. But that help is going fast. 

Zarate said, "I’m not sure how long we are going to stay here, we might end up going to a shelter for a little while until we find something, I’m not sure."

She said the community began helping as soon as the word spread of the fire, and she hopes the community continues to help said as she searches for shelter for her children.

"I need to get up, I need to do something," Zarate said. "I can’t just be depressed and sad all of the time, you know I need to get stuff going for my family, especially my kids."

Zarate set up an online page to receive aid from the community, learn how to support them, here