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Waiting to return home: Son hosts fundraiser for his mom, displaced after first Club Valencia fire

Linda Jones was one of dozens displaced in the November 3rd, 2022 fire that tore through the Club Valencia condominiums in Arapahoe County.
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Posted at 1:25 AM, Sep 17, 2023

ARVADA, Colo. — Ten months after the first of two fires sparked at the Club Valencia condominium complex in Arapahoe County, a son is stepping up to make sure his mom has a place to call home.

"I don’t want to see my mom suffer. And what I can do and what I know how to do is put on events and bar-tend," said James Menkal.

Menkal's mom, Linda Jones, was one of dozens displaced in the November 3rd, 2022 fire that tore through the Club Valencia condominiums in Arapahoe County.

On Saturday, Menkal hosted a fundraiser at Little Eden Plantscaping in Arvada with hopes of raising $70,000, or enough money to pay for his mom's mortgage for five years. Menkal said any money raised that exceeds that amount will go to the other homeowners displaced in the Club Valencia fires.

In total, 160 units are still unlivable today.
 
At the end of March, the condo's HOA board revealed to Denver7 that their two insurance claims for the fire were denied. Litigation with the insurance company is on-going.

Menkal said luckily, his mom had homeowner's insurance. But, her temporary housing will run out in November 2024.

"I can’t imagine other people who are in a worse situation...what they’re going to do. It breaks my heart," said Menkal.

Jones said despite her circumstances she is one of the lucky ones.

"To have everyone here today to care enough is really, really a blessing. Thank you, thank you for being here," she said.

Even though she admitted it's been a hard journey, she's remained strong for all the other homeowners as they wait to find out if or when they will ever return home.
 
"We’ve had a lot of fires in our state and a lot of things happen in our world, but this is my world that I have to deal with and if I can get on my feet then I can help my friends," said Jones.

If you'd like to help Linda, you can donate to her GoFundMe here: Fundraiser by James Menkal : Help my mom recover after losing her home! (gofundme.com)


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