Family still healing after losing house in fire, thankful for community's help

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JEROME, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - Two families lost their home after a fire caused extensive damage in October. One family moved to Jerome after not being able to find a house for three weeks.

The fire took place in mid-October at a duplex in Twin Falls, and Brandi Bradford, the mother of four, said it took them a while to get on their feet and finish furnishing their new home.

“We’re still working on getting everything together,” she said.

After living in a hotel for a few days and staying at a friend's for weeks, they couldn't find a place in Twin Falls, so they went to Jerome instead.

“Considering we had a short period of time and we just had a little bit of finances to do what we needed to do, this was the house that came up,” said Christopher Zamora.

He said they barely just put in the kids’ beds and their bed. They say they couldn’t have done it without the help of the community. Rock Creek Elementary in Twin Falls, where the kids were going to school at the time, helped gather donations for their family along with the family who lived on the other side of the duplex.

"We really appreciate everything they've done for us and the school district and the opportunities that they give our children with helping us out there," Zamora said.

“Between what we had and what everybody helped with, it was like we moved in with almost everything we needed to get,” Bradford added.

However, it wasn't easy as Bradford had a baby at the time of the fire and Zamora was working out of state.

"It was hard for me. I wasn't here," he said.

Zamora said he was able to video chat to be there with his family through the bittersweet time.

"I wasn't there physically, but I was there the best I could," he said.

Zamora said everything in their old house had accumulated over a period of about six months.

"We get here six months ago, and it's all gone," he paused. "As you can tell, we're still healing from that."

Zamora said through the rough time, there were a few bright spots.

"I think what got us through a lot was our kids being happy. The little things," he expressed.

Now, the family of six are still healing and buying little things for their house. The landlord of their previous house asked if they wanted to come back once the house is rebuilt, but they declined.

"We need to make this home, sit still and recover, and heal and just move on," Bradford said.

Zamora said it was still hard driving by the street and the neighborhood.

"I'm very, very happy that I live here. I'm here, and I'm living. My family's OK, my kids are OK, my lady's OK," he said.

Along with getting donations from the elementary school, the family was assisted by the American Red Cross and Target.

One lesson Zamora learned out of this tragic event is to buy renter's insurance and urges everyone to buy it.

"It was a hard lesson, but it was a lesson learned," he said.

KMVT reached out to the family who lived on the other side of the duplex and they said were doing wonderfully and settled into a new house nicely.

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