NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Benito Sanchez and his mother, Diana, lost everything in the Hermits Peak Calf Canyon wildfire. “We were praying and hoping that the fire would pass by our home, but a week later we found out it burned to the ground.”

They lived in Mora for decades but for the past five months, they have been calling the Albuquerque Crowne Plaza their home.”We came over here with just the clothes on our backs,” Sanchez said.


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Sanchez said the state has been paying for their hotel rooms every night. His room, his mother’s room, and the room of his 100-year-old grandmother. But the funding was set to end Friday.”I would have just had to pay out of pocket, I’m working full time, and whatever we have in our savings will use until it drains.”

Thankfully, they were able to get a hold of someone to get the funding extended another 30 days. Sanchez said he’s grateful for the state’s help.”It hurts because I wish I could snap my fingers and rebuild again but we don’t have anything to rebuild so we’re here, staying here, and thank god someone is paying for our room, if we didn’t have that, where would we go?”

But Sanchez also worries about what’s to come in another 30 days. “We pray that we can continue to get help until we can rebuild, but we’re at the mercy of the government right now.”

The state says they had many families in the program in the beginning, but they left the hotels and moved back to rebuild. The Sanchez family is a rare case with their 100-year-old grandmother who can’t travel. The state says there is only one family left in the program, and that’s Benito and his family.

“Please help everybody, please help us,” he said. A Gofundme has been set up for the Sanchez family, click HERE.