Fire leaves family homeless
by Denise Ellen Rizzo / Tracy Press
Dec 12, 2011 | 8606 views | 8 8 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A Tracy fire crewman throws water on a smoldering section of a roof at a house fire on Twin Oaks Drive Monday morning.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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A woman and her two small children narrowly escaped a fire in their rented home Monday, Dec. 12, by climbing out a back window.

Firefighters were called to the fire at 883 Twin Oaks Drive just after 11 a.m. As they approached the Edgewood subdivision with four engines and a ladder truck, fire officials said they could see a huge plume of black smoke from Tracy Boulevard.

The initial call came in for three people who were trapped inside a house that was on fire. As firefighters arrived, they met a Tracy police officer standing outside the front of the house with the occupants, a woman and her two girls, ages 5 and 3, who were still in their pajamas.

Capt. Tom Hemmingson, whose team was the first to arrive, said large flames and smoke could be seen pouring out the front door and window of the single-family house. He said it was so thick firefighters initially couldn’t tell whether the house was a single or two-story, and flames could be seen licking the ceiling of the living room and entrance.

“It was going pretty good before we got here,” Hemmingson said

Teams of firefighters attacked the fire with hoses, as a ladder crew cut ventilation holes in the roof over the living room, where the fire originated, Division Chief Dave Bramell said.

The fire was under control within 25 minutes and contained to the living room and adjacent kitchen. However, there was heavy smoke damage throughout the house, Bramell said, though the family’s car and belongings inside the garage were untouched.

As firefighters combed through the living room for a cause of the fire, charred Christmas lights were barely recognizable hanging from the front eaves.

The father of the family arrived at the house a short time after the fire was extinguished, as did the homeowners. The family in the house also had an 11-year-old daughter who was at school when the fire happened.

The family renting the house was assisted by an American Red Cross team for temporary shelter, and damage was estimated to be around $115,000 with no injuries reported.

For information about the San Joaquin County chapter of the Red Cross: 833-0255 or 466-6971. To donate click here .

• This story was corrected to read that the family living in the Twin Oaks Drive home has five members, including three daughters.
Comments
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aeh4543
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December 19, 2011
This is why I have renter's insurance. $400 a year is significantly cheaper than the thousands it would take to replace everything! :-)

When I was in college, I served on a Red Cross Disaster Action Team, and this is exactly what our team did for families who were displaced - temporary shelter, food, clothes, replacement medications, etc.

Sorry for your loss.
AlohaSha
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December 13, 2011
Traina School is collecting for the family. Please see their note below:

One of our Traina Families have been hit with a tragedy, as they have lost their home to a fire.

We are kindly asking for donations to help them. At this time they are in need of clothing and food. The students are all girls, sizes 4, 6 & 14. Giftcards to any local grocery store or resturant are welcome. Donations can be dropped off at the Traina Office by Friday at 3:30 pm. Donations will be delivered to the family by the end of our Business day.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office at 209-839-2379.
doors17
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December 13, 2011
Hopefully Christina this will give the readers another possibility who want to help and make sure the needed supplies are delivered to your neighbor and her kids and provide the help that many of us would like to donate. As I said earlier it’s unfortunate that we have to be on our guard nowadays when our hearts are in the right place, but we also need to think with our heads. I wish you and your neighbor the best. We can all use a neighbor like you.
tracyresdnt
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December 13, 2011
dont know if the fire was started in a christmas tree, but I've noticed many trees in the various tree lots this year seem to be really dry. Be very careful with the electronic gadgets that you hook up to, or under, the tree...
doors17
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December 13, 2011
I believe the best thing we can do is contact our local Red Cross. It's sad but the reality is we have many dishonest people taking advantage of others misery.

You may be legit Christina and if you are I apologize for thinking the worse to someone who truly has good intentions to help a neighbor in need. But since the 510 area code is in eastern Bay Area cities in Alameda County (I take it that's your work phone number) I hope you and others reading this can understand why it's best to instead call our Red Cross for donations.

It's number and location is (209) 833-0255 · 835 Central Ave, Tracy, CA 95376

ccarman1980
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December 13, 2011
Yes I have a 510 area code, being I used to live in the bay area, but now I live 3 doors down from these people and took Zulema and her children into my home for hours as they lost everything. I fed and clothed them. And yeah it bothers me. But thats fine, I had already started a donation fun, having friends and family all over the country sending clothes for the family and gifts for christmas along with gift cards to food stores.
TracyCitizen
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December 12, 2011
If someone who knows this family can please leave a message phone number. Those who can may donate some clothes for the kids and a few gifts for Christmas.

Thankful they all got out ok.
ccarman1980
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December 12, 2011
I am their neighbor, I took the mom and 2 young girls into my home today while they got the fire under control. I am started collecting donations for the family. You may call email me for information on sizes etc on what they need.

Christina

510-283-8609

ccarman1980@gmail.com



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