Dying grandmother talks about losing everything in Phoenix apartment fire

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Gloria Lucio wanted to spend her last Christmas with her grandchild at the place she's called home for nearly 30 years. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Gloria Lucio wanted to spend her last Christmas with her grandchild at the place she's called home for nearly 30 years. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Firefighters quickly battled an early Wednesday morning apartment fire in Phoenix, fire officials said. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Firefighters quickly battled an early Wednesday morning apartment fire in Phoenix, fire officials said. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Gloria Lucio and her family (Source: Family photo) Gloria Lucio and her family (Source: Family photo)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A Phoenix grandmother whose apartment went up in flames earlier this week is talking about losing everything while she is battling terminal cancer.

Gloria Lucio lived in the same apartment near 67th Avenue and Osborn Road in Phoenix for nearly three decades. Wednesday morning, while she was not at home, a fire broke out, destroying her apartment and everything in it. The flames and smoke spread to several other units in the same building.

[ORIGINAL STORY: Phoenix apartment fire displaces 10 people, including 5 kids]

"I’ve been there since 1989. That’s what, 28 years? And I had things for my grandchildren. I had a spot for them. They liked coming over to my house," said Lucio. 

The grandmother of three had been staying with her sister to arrange for hospice care. Lucio is in the final stages of terminal cancer.

Lucio is sad that the keepsakes she was going to give to her family members to remember her by are gone. But her greatest loss is that of making some final memories with her grandchildren.

"I wanted to spend my last good days in my house, you know while I was OK. Because I enjoy my house," she said. "And I wanted to make my grandchildren a magical Christmas where they’d decorate, maybe we’d have pajamas and chocolate and things like that. So, now I have to make a plan B."

A GoFundMe account has been set up for Lucio if you would like to help her and her family.


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Donna RossiEmmy Award-winning reporter Donna Rossi joined CBS 5 News in September 1994.

Click to learn more about Donna.

Donna Rossi

In that time, Donna has covered some of the most high-profile stories in the Valley and across the state. Donna's experience as a four-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department gives her a keen sense of crime and court stories. She offered gavel to gavel coverage of the 1999 sleepwalking murder trial of Scott Falater, and the trial and conviction of retired Catholic Bishop Thomas O'Brien for a fatal hit and run accident. She also spent 2 straight weeks in northeastern Arizona in the summer of 2011 covering the Wallow Fire, the largest wildfire in Arizona history.

Donna's reputation as a fair and accurate journalist has earned her the respect of her colleagues and community. Her talent as a reporter has earned her more than a dozen Arizona Associated Press Awards and five Emmy statue.

Donna previously worked as an anchor and reporter in Tucson and got her start in broadcast journalism in Flagstaff. Donna is a past president of the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences and currently serves on the NATAS board. She is a member of IFP/Phoenix, a non-profit organization of local film and documentary makers.

Donna was born in New York and moved to the Valley with her family when she was 9 years old. She is a graduate of Maryvale High School and attended Arizona State University. She graduated cum laude from Northern Arizona University.

In her free time, Donna enjoys boating on Bartlett Lake, all forms of music and theatre. Donna frequently donates her time to speak to community organizations and emcee their events. She is a past board member of DUET, a non-profit which helps promote health and well-being for older adults. Donna also loves donating her time to youth organizations and groups who work to secure and safeguard human rights.

On Oct. 17, 2015, Donna was honored for her amazing work over the years. The Rocky Mountain Chapter of the National Academy of Televisions Arts and Sciences inducted her into its Silver Circle. It's one of the organization's most prestigious honors for which only a few candidates are selected each year.

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