A recently retired school bus driver says she lost all of her belongings when her home was destroyed in a fire that was sparked from a homeless encampment.
Christina Rangel told KCAL-TV that she had lived for 15 years in the home in Riverside, California, before the fire.
“Right after my retirement, I thought I was going to have my house, relax,” she said. “And then it’s like somebody just pulled the rug from under my feet.”
Security video from the fire on Aug. 30 shows Rangel running into her home to save her two dogs despite the warnings of firefighters.
“He says, ‘Just leave them,'” Rangel recalled. “And I says, ‘No!’ I grabbed my dogs.”
The Riverside Fire Department said that the fire spread through gusty winds from a homeless encampment. Investigators believe the fire started because of cooking equipment with a propane tank.
Other homes and structures in the neighborhood were damaged, but Rangel’s home was the only one completely destroyed. The home was 95 years old, and Rangel had been fixing it up with new windows, roofing, and electrical work.
Rangel’s daughter says that although the home was covered by insurance, they’re not going to be able to replace the home with the amount they will be given.
Rangel says she has compassion for the homeless despite her losing her home because of an encampment.
“I can see them, and I can see myself too — both sides,” said Rangel. “But, somebody should do something. Don’t let them do this.”
Her daughter has set up a GoFundMe account to help her pay for a new home.
Here’s the local news report with the interview:
Retired school bus driver loses home due to fire from a homeless encampmentwww.youtube.com
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