Surprise Squad helps Glendale mom, 6 kids get back on their feet after fire

Surprise Squad is sponsored by Valley Toyota Dealers.
Kim has six kids and recently lost her Glendale home because of a fire.
Kim has six kids and recently lost her Glendale home because of a fire.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 11:51 AM MST
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GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Nobody is prepared for a fire at home. It’s destructive and disruptive and can leave you searching for help to get back on your feet. That’s what happened to the Glendale home Kim was renting. She lived there with her mom and six children, but now they’re all struggling to find a new place to live. Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad wanted to help them out, so 3TV’s Scott Pasmore and the Surprise Squad team recently met Kim at the house as she was removing some of her possessions.

Kim said the fire started in the attic above the bathroom in her room. She was working from home and noticed smoke. “And I peeked over the corner in the restroom, and fire was everywhere on the floor,” she recalled. “So, I grabbed a water bottle really quick and just put water all over the floor. That put the fire out on the floor, but it was falling from the ceiling in the restroom. I quickly grabbed my baby and ran out and grabbed my kids in the living room and told them, ‘We got to go; it’s a fire.’”

“I was on the way to the store when my daughter called me and told me there was a fire,” Kim’s mother Kimberly explained. “I thought it was a joke. It was no joke. I literally raced with the police and the fire department to get here.”

Kim said the fire crew tore down some of the walls and ceiling in her bathroom and pulled out the insulation. The electricity was cut, and the city won’t let anyone live there until things are fixed. “Since the fire, pretty much trying to figure out the next step. Like I said, I work two full-time jobs, so no one ever prepares for a house fire. That’s why I work two jobs, so me and my children won’t be homeless. And we ended up being homeless now. It’s just been trying to move my stuff out, try to get my kids’ table. They’re still in school. I have to work, especially now. So it’s just been hectic, really.”

“My daughter is amazing,” Kimberly said as she started to choke up. “She’s amazing. She takes care of her kids -- six -- with no help. I’m proud, and I’m just in awe of the type of mother she is.”

Kim said the entire family initially moved into a hotel after the fire, but the costs started adding up. Plus, it’s hard for that many people to live in a single hotel room. “So, now we’re just at my friend’s house until we figure out where we can go.”

“I’m from Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad, which is sponsored by your Valley Toyota Dealers,” Pasmore said as he handed her an envelope. “So, we would like to help you in your situation, so we brought this out to you. I’d like you to open it that.”

“Oh, this is so nice,” Kim said as she read the paper inside that said the Surprise Squad was giving her $2,000. “So that’s $2,000 that you can use towards anything you would like,” Pasmore explained. “To help you get through this situation. We just felt bad for what you are going through.”

“Thank you,” Kim said through tears of joy.

But the surprises weren’t over. Pasmore handed her a second envelope. “We would like to also give you this, too. That is to you from Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad and your Valley Toyota Dealers.”

“Oh, my goodness,” Kim gasped as she read that the Surprise Squad was giving her an additional $3,000. “You guys don’t really have to do all this.”

“Look at that,” Pasmore said with a smile. “Another $3,000. That’s $5,000. ... We’re concerned about you and your kids, so we want that to go a long way in helping you at least put a roof over your head until you get back on your feet.”

“Thank you so, so much,” Kim smiled. “I really, really appreciate it. I wasn’t expecting this at all.”