HIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida family said they have lost everything, including their children’s Christmas gifts, after a fire broke out inside their home.
Homeowner Jose Ramos described the moment he realized his house along the 4200 block of West 11th Court in Hialeah was ablaze, Saturday morning.
“I see a big flame in the door,” he said. “When I saw the flames on the door, I thought it was impossible to get out.”
Ramos said neighbors sprang into action to help him and his loved ones get out safely.
“The people in the neighborhood, they helped us to get out from the house,” he said.
Ramos said the good Samaritans ripped down the backyard fence as the flames kept growing.
From the moment he woke up to the fire ripping through the house, Ramos said, the first and only thing he could think about was ensuring his little niece and nephew escaped the inferno.
“The first thing that came to my mind was to take out my niece. You don’t know what to do in the moment,” he said, “but the first thing is, ‘I have to save my niece, and I have to save my nephew.’ That’s the first thing that came to my mind.”
Everyone managed to make it out OK, but the house and everything in it is gone.
“All the Christmas gifts lost, the Christmas presents, for my nephews and nieces, and we don’t have nothing at the house,” he said. “Nothing is left. It’s really sad to say to the family, ‘We don’t have nothing for Christmas Day.'”
Ramos said he worked hard and saved up for over a decade to call this property home, and in a matter of minutes, it all turned to ash.
“We lost everything. Ten years of work, of working, 10 years of saving money, 10 years of buying stuff,” said Ramos, “and, like I said, we just bought all the Christmas gifts. It’s gone. I never thought that this would happen in my life, it’s something you never expect.”
Sunday afternoon, the homeowner said city officials might extend a helping hand.
“We’re still waiting for the city, maybe help us a little, because we need a place to go to live, to start over again,” he said. “Now, every day is like a new adventure to what we’re going to do next because we don’t know.”
Ramos said he and his family are receiving financial help from the Red Cross, but he said it wasn’t enough to help cover the costs of a new place to stay.
“Next, I don’t know what to do right now,” he said. “I think that the first I want to do is look for a roof, and to make sure all my kids can have a better Christmas.”
But the family is also grateful for the donations they’ve received since the fire.
“I want to say thank you to the people who are giving donations,” he said. “Please help us, because today it’s us, and trust me, tomorrow maybe we will be asked who will help someone else.”
Ramos said he continues to count his blessings.
“Thank God we are alive. Thank God everyone is OK, and everything will be better,” he said. “God is always [there], I know he’s never going to abandon us.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
“We’re not asking for nothing for free, but what we need is a roof and to buy at least on Christmas Day a little Christmas tree so I could give the kids a little gift,” said Ramos.
The Ramos family said they only have enough to survive for about three days or so, and they are asking for help from the community through a GoFundMe page that they started. If you would like to make a donation, click here.
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