HEMET (CBSLA.com) — A Riverside County family was without a home Tuesday after Christmas decorations caught their mobile home on fire.
The blaze began around 10 p.m. Friday in the Santa Rosa Mobile Home Park on State Street, officials said.
The Alvarado family, including five children ranging in age from 4 to 19, was able to escape safely with their puppy but lost their home, two of three vehicles and all their Christmas presents.
Sixteen-year-old Yadira Alvarado, who lived at the home, recalled the scramble to get out when she realized their tree had caught fire.
“We just ran out and tried to make sure everyone was safe,” she told KCAL9’s Tom Wait.
“We saw the Christmas tree like, red, and I grabbed him and my dog, and we ran out and my big brother got the baby,” she said.
The lights on the Christmas tree are believed to be the cause of the fire.
The family is staying at a hotel provided by the American Red Cross and has received donations from complete strangers.
Yadira said her family is grateful for the outpouring of support.
“Everyone is really helping,” she said. “The community has brought up our spirits. We thought it would be worse than this and we would be homeless.”
The Alvarados are asking the public for further help as they do not have insurance and need to demolish the mobile home.
Donations can be made to the Bank of America account number 0758904747.