CENTER — A woman, her boyfriend, her two children and their dogs are safe after a fire in their home in Center Monday. However, the family said that they have lost everything they own.
At 2:28 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 24, the Center Fire Department was dispatched to a house fire on the 600 block of Miles Street. When fire crews arrived on scene, they found the house already filled with smoke and the fire contained to the interior.
In the minutes prior to CFD being dispatched, one of the residents of the house, Devon Valdez, 21, woke up with difficulty breathing. He discovered that the small house in Center where Valdez lives with his girlfriend, Brisa Castillo, 21, and her two children, ages 2 and 4, was filled with smoke. He woke Castillo and when the two went into the living room, flames could be seen running up the wall next to the woodburning stove.
Castillo’s children were spending the night with her mother and both Valdez and Castillo were able to evacuate without any injuries. Their dogs, who are “outside” dogs, were in the yard and also were unharmed.
Valdez immediately contacted the Center Police Department which dispatched the Center Fire Department.
Valdez said fire crews — including 12 firefighters — arrived on the scene no more than 10 minutes after being dispatched.
Center Fire Chief Russell Brown said crews were able to extinguish the fire relatively quickly and no other structures were impacted. He said the smoke damage to the interior of the house is extensive. His crew was on scene until about 4:30 a.m.
Meanwhile, the young family said they lost everything.
Valdez, who works for the grounds department at Alamosa School District, said he’s “in shock.”
“It’s still kind of hard to believe that this happened to our family,” he said.
Castillo, who worked at the High Valley Community Center Day Care in Del Norte until recently accepting a job at Abba Eye Care in Alamosa, said they haven’t told the children yet.
“Everything is gone,” she said.
One of the first family members Valdez contacted was his uncle Jeremy Silva, best known for independently organizing campaigns to provide new shoes and backpacks filled with supplies for school-aged kids in the Valley.
“My nephew and his family have nothing,” Silva said. “They didn’t have renter’s insurance and everything they own was destroyed in the fire.”
Silva said he hopes that people in the Valley will extend a helping hand to his nephew’s family and has set up a go fund me page that can be found at gofundme.com by searching “Brisa Castillo.”
The family is also welcoming any household items and children’s clothing, girl’s size 4t-5t and shoe size 9-10 and boy’s size 5-6t and shoe size 13c. Anyone interested in making donations of household items or clothing can contact Silva at 719-849-0380.