‘Everything we had in storage is gone’: Mesa family devastated after fire destroys belongings

A family of five lost almost everything in a fire at a storage facility in Mesa and is asking the community for help.
Published: Dec. 23, 2022 at 3:55 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A Mesa family who was once living in their car is starting over again after a fire at a storage facility earlier this month. Their unit was one of many that were burnt to a crisp.

Kids’ clothes, toys and Christmas gifts were destroyed. April Abernathy, her husband and three small children live in a modest two-bedroom Mesa apartment. It’s a special place because it is their first home in two years, the first time in a while they’ll have their Christmas under their own roof.

The family that lived between their car, motels and shelters was dealt another crushing blow, knocked back down after trying to get on their feet. “It’s hard,” said Abernathy.

The Abernathy’s unit at Public Storage on 8th Avenue and Country Club Drive was one of the many destroyed in a massive fire on Dec. 13 that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is now investigating. While the cause and the origin are still under investigation, it’s clear how much damage and heartbreak it caused.

The Abernathy’s put their kids’ clothes, toys and some electronics inside the storage unit when they became homeless. They even had Christmas gifts inside. “It’s like everything got worse; it’s like we got pushed back a little bit from it,” said Abernathy. “It’s the sentimental items that are gone that we can’t ever get back. I have baby pictures and everything completely gone that I can’t get back.”

The family of five, with another child on the way, now sits and sleeps on donated furniture. There are donated gifts under the tree. The clothes on the kids’ backs were also given as a good deed. “We are going to take it day by day,” said Abernathy.

Abernathy said she’s working with the insurance agency after the flames destroyed her unit, but she has yet to receive a dime. She could use some helping hands, but most of all, she wants prayers. “Just pray we get through this,” she said.

If you would like to donate to help the family, click/tap here.