North Phoenix couple loses home in Mother’s Day fire

A north Phoenix couple lost everything in a house fire on Mother's Day and they're asking for help to get back on their feet.
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 5:19 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — A husband and wife lost everything when their home caught fire early Sunday morning. Kim Kurtz said she woke up suddenly around 1 in the morning. “I was sound asleep and I think I was smelling the smoke and I looked up and there was fire coming out of the corner of my ceiling and it just freaked me out,” said Kurtz.

Kim Kurtz rushed into the living room to wake up her husband of 21 years, Rick, who fell asleep on a lounge chair. She said Rick tried to put the flames out himself, but they were far too fierce. He then guided Kim out of the house while the flames crawled up his back, neck and the top of his head. “I was trying to get him out and he got me out and thank God he did,” Kim said.

“She’s the most important thing,” Rick added. Rick got second-degree burns while trying to get her out of the house. He also said he was treated for smoke inhalation at the hospital.

By the time firefighters arrived, the home was fully engulfed. “I couldn’t believe it. When we got outside and looked back, you see your whole life going away,” said Kim.

The couple lost everything in the fire, including irreplaceable family heirlooms. “Collectibles from my grandmother I’ve had since I was a baby. I had one picture of my great grandmother, lost that in my family Bible,” said Kim.

Kim, who is in cancer remission, also lost her dentures in the fire as they were left behind when they were trying to escape. She hopes she can get help to get those replaced. “I like to smile a lot and I don’t smile right now. I feel like part of me is missing,” Kim said.

Their dog and two cats were able to escape out of the back door. However, one of the cats is still missing. Neighbors have told the Kurtzes they’ve seen the cat wandering around the house. A GoFundMe page and a PayPal has been set up to help the couple get back on their feet. “When you’re trying to just get by and this happens, right back to square one,” Kim said.