DENVER — A single mother and her three young children have been left without a home after a fire in Denver over the weekend.
The house where Katrina Martinez has been raising her kids — Adam Jr., 12, Amyrikal, 10 and Adias, 9 — is now gone after flames broke out at the house on Saturday evening.
“Every memory I can think of, the last eight years, has been at this house," Martinez said. "All I could see is black smoke around me. It was just really scary."
Martinez believes it was caused by an electrical malfunction. She said it happened shortly after she plugged in a fridge that she had out back.
Her sons were the first to alert her of the fire while they were playing outside.
"Me and my brother were playing soccer in the back," Adam said. "We looked back and the whole fridge was on fire."
The flames quickly spread to the home and also damaged a fence and part of a neighbor's house. Martinez said it could have been much worse but firefighters responded quickly and were able to get a handle on the blaze.
"I want to thank the firemen and first responders because they did a great job, saving everyone around us," she said.
Adam said he got injured as he tried to help.
"I ran through the house and tried to grab the hose. I tried to run in there, but something fell from the ceiling. It was on fire and it wrapped around my ankle, so I have a pretty bad burn on my ankle. When I ran through the door I got a red burn on my arm," Adam said.
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"My son was in the kitchen or front room, with the water hose, and he said, 'Mom!' And I said, 'Son, you can't just go outside, run out there with everyone else,'" Martinez said.
Adam said he couldn't save any of his belongings, like his beloved card collection that held a lot of meaning.
"They were passed down from generations. They were in mint condition—baseball, basketball, everything. My brother's Pokémon cards," he said. "My siblings are completely shocked. I'm recovering from my burns."
The Martinez-Olguin family is now forced to start over.
"Right now I’m homeless, obviously. I never thought I'd be in this situation. I’m really in shock," Martinez said, adding they have found a temporary place to stay but are in need of long-term housing. "Mostly I’m worried about my kids, getting clothes and shoes, things they need, basic necessities."
As they figure out their next steps, they are thankful they all made it out in time.
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