The community helps a valley couple who lost almost everything they own in a fire

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- A Valley couple lost almost everything they owned in an apartment fire over the weekend.

The couple has a warning for others: The same could happen to you if you don’t take measures to protect your belongings.

“Frustrated, sad, upset,” is how the fire victim Leticia Santos described herself.

Since the weekend, the disabled couple was relocated to a new Phoenix apartment by management, who also gave the couple a bed, sheets, pizza, gift cards and one month free rent.

On Wednesday their new apartment was nearly empty because everything they own went up in flames.

“When we were exiting, the fire was two feet above our heads,” Santos said.

Even though renters insurance is not required by law, Santos wishes she had paid for it. Money, however, is extremely tight.

Now she's warning others to not follow in her footsteps.

“I would tell them not to do that and be careful,” Santos said.

According to the Arizona Insurance Council, a landlord will not cover a renter's personal property if lost in a fire. 

Renters are encouraged to take out a basic policy covering at least $20,000 of your stuff.

“We're going to have it and I already spoke to a guy with an insurance company,” Santos said.

The couple said they will pay $20 a month to insure what little they have left, a computer and a pile of clothes.

On Thursday afternoon a Casa Grande man dropped off a truck load of furniture for the family. "I'm currently unemployed and looking for work. I haven't paid enough Karma tax lately. I believe that a good deed is its own reward," said John Baron. Volunteers with Desert Mission dropped off food donations, and the Red Cross put the family in a hotel right after the fire. Many loyal 3TV viewers dropped off donations and one person donated a large check for kitchen donations.