MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A South Florida family who lost everything when a fire destroyed their Miami home, is thankful for the generous support of the South Florida community in an effort to get them back on their feet.
In the hours after CBS4 News first reported that Zoila Monzon and her children lost their home and everything inside just days before Thanksgiving, Neighbors 4 Neighbors has received $2,100 in donations.
The fire broke out while Monzon was shopping in Walmart with her grandson. That's where she got a call from her sons, that would change her life.
"The house is on fire, we're on fire. I just left everything at Walmart, but I couldn't have imagined it was as big as they were saying. When I got here the entire house was engulfed in flames and nothing could be saved," said Monzon.
Monzon's sons woke up to the smell of smoke. Acting on instinct, the boys tried to put out the fire themselves. Eventually the flames became too powerful.
"It was just a rush in our body to get out before we got hurt," said her son, Steven Martinez.
The home they lived in for years was a total loss. All that Monzon, her two teenage children, a 25-year-old daughter and her 5-year-old grandson were left with were the clothes they were wearing.
"We started feeling everything as soon as we got out that's when we really were like damn, we lost everything," said Martinez.
The cause of the fire has yet to be determined. Monzon told CBS4 her family is going through a tremendously difficult time.
"I just must move forward. To fight and praise God. Everything is going to be OK. We may never have what we had but at least I want a roof over our heads especially with my daughter and my grandson. We'll keep fighting and stay together as a family," she said.
The Red Cross initially stepped in and provided her money for a hotel, but that ran out on Wednesday.
Now, Neighbors 4 Neighbors has stepped in to help. They are paying for her to stay in the hotel through Monday. Neighbors 4 Neighbors is also collecting donations to help Monzon.
Monzon, who lives off the meager income she makes cleaning houses, said she has no one to help her or her family. She said she's been looking for a place to live but can't find anything she can afford and has nowhere else to go.
"We really need our community to come together for this family and help provide everything they lost. Clothes, food, toys for their grandchild and juts to help them push forward now that it's Thanksgiving and the holidays are coming," said Carolina Sanchez, the community development coordinator for Neighbors 4 Neighbors.
For now, Monzon and her family are pushing forward, saying goodbye to their home, and hoping soon they'll have another.
If you would like to help, click here. You can also text to MonzonHomeFire to 71777 to get the link sent to your phone.
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