Michael Duran takes a break from clearing debris from a trailer that was destroyed by an overnight fire at 98 Willard St., Dexter. (Mark Wilson Photo)
A fire destroyed a mobile home at 98 Willard St., Dexter, Monday evening. The Midway Volunteer Fire Department received the call around 6:30 p.m. The fire was out by 7:45 p.m. Midway’s Fire Chief Ron Fuller said that due to the adverse weather conditions, a total of four districts were called in to fight the blaze, including East Grand Plains, Dexter and District 8.
“Our guys worked pretty fast. They did a good job, but it’s just a total loss. The family needs help,” he said.
The house was the residence of Crystal Elias and her 2-year-old daughter.
Elias’ sister Anna [auth] Grajeda said that Elias arrived home from work and began a load of laundry when she heard a loud pop. She was barely able to get out of the house in time. “We were lucky because her daughter was in the care of my mother at the time.”
“Neighbors heard her screaming and called the fire department,” said Grajeda.
According to Georgianna Hunt, one-half of the house was completely consumed by the fire by the time the Midway Fire Department arrived on the scene. The rest of the house sustained both smoke and water damages.
It is believed the cause of the fire was an electrical space heater.
Elias, who recently received her certification as a nursing assistant, had no insurance. The Red Cross has put up the family in temporary lodging for the next three days. They also provided essential clothing for the night.
Grajeda said that she does not know where her sister and niece will stay after that time, although she added, “God was there with her or else she would not have gotten away.”
Elias said she was particularly depressed because her daughter’s Christmas presents burned up in the fire. Among the gifts lost were a Barbie doll, Dora the Explorer, Hello Kitty toys and an electrical mini-car.
When asked what she wanted, Elias specifically requested children’s clothes to replace those her daughter lost in sizes 2T and 3T, shoe 5½.
In the long run, the family will need household items, blankets, sheets, towels, pots and pans, furniture.
Although the mother didnot ask, she and the baby’s father also could use clothes. Elias will need scrubs and street clothes, sizes 10 through 12, medium to large shirts and 7½ shoes. Men’s clothes needed include 32 by 32, medium to large shirts and shoes sizes 9 to 9½.
Grajeda said the family has been overwhelmed by people’s offers of help.
For any who would like to contribute cash, a special account has been set up in the name of Crystal Elias, Fire Contribution Account, at any Pioneer Bank location in Roswell. A collection point for small items has been set up at the Neighborhood Watch building, 426 N. Main St. For larger items, such as furniture, contact the family at 575-208-8204 or 575-626-7189.