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Mesa family in need after losing everything in New Year's Eve fire

Posted at 5:19 PM, Jan 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-04 19:27:56-05

A Mesa family is struggling to get back on its feet after a fire destroyed their home on New Year's Eve. The house is near Stapley Drive and McKellips Road in Mesa.

Frank and Angela Espinoza had been renting the home for five years. Seven family members were living there: their three kids plus their oldest daughter's 3-year-old daughter and boyfriend.

They were getting ready to go to sleep on New Year's Eve when they started smelling smoke.

Frank Espinoza went outside and saw flames.

"When he went around the corner, he could see the side of the house and front part of the garage were on fire," said Angela Espinoza.

The family said fireworks somehow sparked a fire outside their home before midnight.

Mesa firefighters on scene told ABC15 fireworks were the cause, but on Monday, a spokesperson for the department said they didn't know for sure what started the fire.

The fire spread quickly, destroying the house, their belongings inside, and their car.

"Everything. Absolutely everything. Including one of our pets, one of our cats did not make it," said Espinoza.

Her older daughter Christina is pregnant with a baby girl due in six weeks.

"So she had a lot of stuff she was gathering for the baby...all of that is gone," said Espinoza.

Espinoza said two rooms, including the one where her 3-year-old granddaughter was sleeping in, were right next to the garage.

"If we hadn't gotten out when we did, it would've been a lot worse, and that's the scary part to think of."

They're grateful no one was injured, but now they're trying to figure out how to start over.

Neighbors have been bringing meals and have donated clothes.

"The response has been really just a blessing to know that the community has stepped up the way that they have," said Espinoza.

If you would like to help the Espinoza family, you can donate to their GoFundMe page by clicking here.

On January 9, benefits from a car wash at Maya Bar and Grill in Mesa will go to the Espinoza family. The event is at the restaurant at Brown Road and Pasadena Place starting at 8 a.m.