Struggling mom, 2 kids lose everything in house fire


by Catherine Holland

Video report by Jill Galus

Posted on December 10, 2013 at 7:15 AM

Updated Friday, Dec 13 at 10:40 AM

Map: Near 63rd Avenue adn Missouri

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A mother and her two kids escaped a house fire that was initially reported as a hoarding situation, but firefighters later said there were simply some boxes by the door, which made entry difficult.

It happened at about 4 a.m. Tuesday just southeast of 63rd and Missouri avenues.

A neighbor called 911 to report smoke and flames at the house.

When crews arrived on the scene, they discovered an active fire in the attic. They believe it started in the front of the house and spread quickly from there.

"Within a few minute of this fire fight, firefighters reported … hoarder conditions, which tells the rest of us, gives us an idea -- a snapshot -- of just how much stuff is in this home," Daniel Valenzuela of the Glendale Fire Department.

Firefighters later clarified and said while there were boxes by the door, the rest of the house was accessible to them.

The homeowner said she has smoke detectors, but she either did not hear them or they did not go off. Still, she and her two children escaped unharmed despite the very thick smoke.

While no injuries were reported, the fire gutted the home.

"She literally lost everything," Valenzuela said. "She literally is going through the holidays without a job and a car as it is. To have something like this happen, it's heartbreaking."

Investigators have not determined what sparked the fire.