A Chico couple and their nephew escaped with little more than the clothes on their backs after a fire broke out in their mobile home early Tuesday morning.
The residence was completely engulfed in flames when Chico firefighters arrived at the home in the 300 block of Sherman Street around 3:15 a,m.
Just minutes before, Mary Ozuna and Kevin Martinez were awakened by their nephew, Ricky Coleman, who discovered the fire.
“He was just screaming and hollering to wake us up, and as soon as I opened my eyes, I could tell how smoky it was throughout the house,” Ozuna said. “We just got up and ran outside, didn’t even think of grabbing our phones or money or anything. We have nothing.”
Ozuna said it appears the blaze started near the middle bedroom of the single-wide she and Martinez moved into about a month ago when they reconciled after being separated.
“We wanted to start over; well I guess this is completely starting over,” she said, fighting back tears. “I guess this is rock bottom.”
The three occupants, along with a Chihuahua mix and pit bull, got out of the home unharmed. But they lost all of their possessions, including an 8-week-old pit bull puppy.
“Everything we had, it’s all gone,” Ozuna said. “He (Martinez) likes tattoos. All of his tattoo stuff. Our money – we just got paid Friday. Our phones. Everything. Years of memories.”
Regardless, the two are thankful for their safety, especially considering the home wasn’t equipped with smoke detectors.
“I’m so glad his nephew was here,” Ozuna said. “Who knows what might’ve been the outcome otherwise. There was a reason he stayed with us tonight.”
That mentality will strengthen them as they start anew.
“You can only go up from here,” she said. “It’s painful to lose everything you have and to start all over. But what else can you do?”
Firefighters from Bridgeport, Alvord and Decatur assisted in extinguishing the blaze. The cause of the fire is unknown.