Hemet family loses home, presents in Christmas tree fire


Seven members of a Hemet family lost their home and all their Christmas presents when lights on their dry Christmas tree sparked a fire, according to a report in the Riverside Press Enterprise.

The family was being housed Monday in a hotel by the Red Cross, and members of the Hemet Fire Department donated $500 in gift cards for Sears and Kmart to the family. Neighbors were also donating items.

The blaze broke out Friday at the mobile home where Juan and Irma Alvarado lived with their five children, who range in age from 4 to 19, the report said.


“My parents are very grateful for everything they’ve done for us, the whole community of Hemet,” daughter Yadira Alvarado said.

The family lost all their belongings, and two of their three vehicles were destroyed by the flames.

Hemet Fire Capt. Steve Sandefer said the blaze was apparently sparked by lights that ignited the dry Christmas tree.

“Make sure your trees are watered and make sure to dispose of them as soon after Christmas as possible,” he told the Press Enterprise. “The drier they get, the more dangerous they are.”


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