A New Mexico family is scrambling to find a place to live after losing their home to a devastating fire, just three days into the new year.
“My TV turned off when I was doing laundry in my room and I went back to turn it on because I had the kids there, and it wasn’t turning on,” says Marily Mendoza.
Mendoza and her family had only been living in their Bernalillo home for seven months.
It was a fresh start that would continue into the new year, but on Thursday, that quickly changed.
“It was smelling worse so I opened my door and my entire porch, on the right side, was in flames,” says Mendoza.
With everyone but her husband still inside the house, Mendoza’s motherly instincts kicked in.
“I went and got my baby and wrapped him up in a blanket because I knew it was cold outside,” says Mendoza.
Mom and the two kids managed to escape, but two dogs did not make it. One of them was just a puppy.
“It was a little baby girl. She didn’t know how to get off the porch,” she says.
Mendoza says her puppies taking shelter from the cold weather was the reason the fire broke out on the porch.
“It was an electric shortage. We had heaters out on the porch because we had puppies,” she says.
Even though Mendoza and her two children made it out alive, she can’t help but cringe at how they barely escaped.
“My babies were near the fire more than I was. I’m glad I smelled it or whatever,” Mendoza says.
Just two days later, Mendoza is in tears over the overwhelming support her family has received.
“We’ve had neighbors bring us clothes, stuff for my kids, stuff for us. (chokes up) You know hygiene things. Blankets,” she says.
It’s not the way the family wanted to start the new year, but Mendoza is optimistic for what the rest of 2019 will bring.
“Good things are coming. Good things are coming. Better things are coming,” she says.
The house is a total loss. The family has yet to decide if they will rebuild on that site, or buy a new home.
Donations for the family can be made here.