Fire destroys home on Christmas Eve - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fire destroys home on Christmas Eve

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

December 26, 2008

CAIRO, GA (WALB) - A shaken family held each other tight Friday morning, counting their blessings.

"We're grateful that you know we've got each other and nothing happened to them," says mother of two April Jimenez.

And re-living a nightmare.

"It was like a bad dream," she says.

At 5am on Christmas Eve April Jimenez and her two girls, her boyfriend Jesus, and his mother woke up to a home engulfed in flames.

"We're going to have to start all over," she says.

The trailer was a total loss. 70,000 dollars worth of damage. Cairo's Fire Chief Don Towne says it was intentionally set.

"We don't understand why somebody would want to do that. We didn't have any enemies," says Jimenez.

And only two hours earlier, a fire was set next door. Luckily residents put it out fast and only suffered 5,000 dollars worth of structural damage.

"We're trying to stay strong," the Jimenez family says.

But for April it's hard. Christmastime already brings back painful memories. Her son, who would have turned 7 on Christmas, passed away 18 months ago.

"My baby, I don't have him anymore. He was born on Christmas day and for this to happen right before Christmas, it got to me a lot," she says.

April and her family are temporarily staying at her parent's house.

But since they didn't have insurance, they're not only looking for a new home, they need new clothes, new dishes, and furniture.

Her father, Wendell Sadler, wants justice.

"I'd like for the criminals that tried to murder five people to be punished for the crime they committed, and this family needs all the help they can get," he says.

But on the bright side, their little puppy, Cheekee, now has a new name: Miracle.

"Cheekee stayed inside the house the whole time and then the fire department when they finally got everything out they come walking with him and said is this yours and i said YES! I couldn't find him," says April.

So the Christmas Eve fires could have ruined this family's holiday. But they refuse to let that happen.

"Things happen for a reason and it's probably meant for us to live in a better place....a more beautiful home," says April.

Both fires are under investigation by the Cairo Fire department and the Georgia State Fire Marshal's Office.

If you have any information... call 229-377-3293.

The American Red Cross Georgia Wiregrass Chapter is currently helping the Jimenez family.

If you want to help... You can call the Red Cross or the family directly at 229-377-0102. Feedback