MESA, AZ — A Mesa family who lost everything in a fire just days before New Year’s, says a lithium battery used to charge a remote-control car sparked the flames that destroyed their home.
“My son put the battery on the charger on Friday night and it started smoking, to swell, and then it popped, it blew up acid, flames, and just ignited,” said Jenny Perlaza, as she described the moment before her son's bedroom engulfed in flames.
Perlaza says her 11-year-old son was charging the battery on Friday for a remote-control car he got as a Christmas present, when the battery unexpectedly burst into flames.
She says it quickly spread to her son's mattress and, within minutes, destroyed his room. A second fire sparked inside the home, leaving Jenny and her children homeless and possessions destroyed.
“It could have exploded on him. He was about to go to bed. If that would have happened during his sleep...It's horrifying,” said Perlaza.
Perlaza is a single mom who just started working again after getting laid off. She is not sure where they are going to live now but remains faithful and is especially thankful for her 13-year-old daughter who jumped into action to help evacuate the family.
For now, Perlaza hopes her family’s story could prevent another tragedy.
“It cannot happen to another family, someone can get very, very hurt,” Perlaza said.
The Mesa Fire Department says they cannot comment on the cause of the fire, due to a pending investigation.
The ABC15 Investigators have requested the fire report and plan follow up with the battery manufacturer.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help the Perlaza family.