Space heater sparks fire leaving family of 8 homeless

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PHOENIX - They were just trying to stay warm but firefighters believe a space heater may be the cause of a fire that ripped through a Valley family's home early Tuesday morning.

3TV spoke to family that lost home
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3TV talked to this heart-broken family of seven as they try to pick up the pieces just one week before Christmas.

Fabiola Garcia admits, "Usually people prepare themselves for this. We never did."

It is a situation no family ever wants to find themselves in, a fire in the middle of the night. For Fabiola Garcia and her five little girls that nightmare became a reality late Monday night.

Garcia explains, "I said 'Baby wake up! Wake up! There's a fire in the house!' I was like 'Come on girls get up!"

One by one Fabiola got her kids out to the car. That is when she says she realized one of the girls was missing. "I never count my kids. I counted themthere was only four.

Ten-year-old Ashley was still sleeping and her mom went back inside. She explains, "This black smoke was coming through my front door. I was like 'Baby wake up I can't pick you up."

The fire started in a bedroom Fabiola rents to her long-time friend. Fortunately he was not hurt. Investigators believe a space heater is to blame. They also point out that there were no working smoke detectors anywhere in the house.

A Phoenix Fire spokesperson tells 3TV, "One of the people was awake and smelled the smoke and there were five small children in here so we really lucked out tonight."

The Red Cross is helping the family with a place to stay for the next couple of days. After that they will be on their own until their house is fixed. Now they do not know where they will spend Christmas, but they know they will be together.

"I'm really glad they're safe. I don't know if I'd be able to live without them," Fabiola admits. "Don't fall