Family loses dream home in Tunnel Fire

Screen Shot 2022-04-22 at 8.17.50 PM.png
Posted at 8:18 PM, Apr 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-23 00:00:56-04

FLAGSTAFF — Many Flagstaff families are heartbroken as it sinks in their homes are gone.

To Cassity Smith and her husband Luis Carlos Moreno, the home they lived in was more than just a structure.

It was their dream home, filled with beautiful memories.

Now it’s a place they’ll never get back.

“It’s just like everything is gone. It was just a very emotional moment for us,” said Smith in tears.

They say all that is left behind is a surveillance video their Ring camera captured, minutes before flames consumed their home.

When they drove up, their hearts shattered.

“I didn’t want to believe it, but as we got closer, it was apparent that the whole house was gone. All the branches were gone. I mean, it looked like a fire tornado just ripped everything apart there,” said Moreno.

“As we pulled up we both dropped to our knees and started sobbing. He kept saying like, I never went to war, but I felt like I was in a war,” added Smith.

The dream home they were renting went from a vibrant cabin to ashes.

“To see like everything burned, it’s just traumatic.”

When they got the go-order they grabbed their cars, the clothing they had on, the essentials and left.

“We don’t have a bed. We don’t have a couch. We don't have a refrigerator. We don’t have anything.”

Moreno says he even lost all of his tools he uses for his construction business.

Calvary Bible Church in Flagstaff is stepping up to help all evacuees.

Volunteers gathered donations Friday, encouraging anyone who has been displaced to come and pick up what they need from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

The church is located at 6555 Townsend-Winona Rd #1421, Flagstaff, AZ 86004.

“We love each other. We have been through this before. We’ve been through fires before. We’ve been through floods before. We’ve been through a lot of tragedies out here before…sorry. And this is what we do,” said Kristi Thom a volunteer, Calvary Bible Church.

As for Smith and Moreno:

“It’s just us his point and we have each other to keep us strong,” said Moreno.

They have started a GoFundMe to help get them back on their feet as they start over from zero.

“While we’re tossing and turning in your hotel bed you realize like...we lost our home,” Moreno told ABC15.

Their message to folks who may find themselves in a similar situation is to always have a plan and be ready because, as they learned, everything can be taken away from you in a matter of minutes.