SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – A triple tragedy has turned a Southwest Miami-Dade family’s life upside down after a fire that broke out inside their home caused extensive damage and claimed the lives of their pets.
Every Tuesday, homeowner Stephany Fernandez leaves her home near Southwest 117th Avenue and 181st Terrace to help those less fortunate.
On Friday, a fire that was sparked by a faulty refrigerator has left her in need of help.
Fernandez said her daughter noticed the smoke after arriving home from work.
They survived, but they lost nearly everything, including three precious members of the family.
“The material [belongings] is nothing, but my dogs were my life. They were my kids, basically,” said Fernandez as she fought back tears. “Everybody in my neighborhood knows me and my dogs, and that’s what hurts me the most.”
Nearly everything inside the property was touched by smoke damage.
Juan Matos, the owner of the restoration company Disaster Services, said he is trying to help, but he can only do so much.
“We’re actually working with the homeowner to get the property restored, but the issue that we have here is that the tenants are not covered under that insurance,” he said.
Fernandez, meanwhile, has set up a GoFundMe page to try to put her life back together.
Matos was her first donor.
“It’s good to give back. It’s not always business, you know. Sometimes you’ve got to pay it forward,” he said. “A lot of competitors, sometimes they see someone with no insurance and they say, ‘Hey, there’s nothing here,’ but you can always give back and help somebody else.”
“These people from the Disaster [Services], they’ve been here since last night, since all day [Friday], since yesterday until 11 o’clock helping us, and I’m grateful,” she said, “and I’m grateful that you guys are here helping us, too. Whatever you could help us [with], I would appreciate it.”
If you would like to make a donation to the Fernandez family, click here.
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