Six months pregnant, Amanda DeVargas woke up to a smoke-filled house on March 18 with her fiancé already gone for work.
She quickly evacuated two daughters, two siblings, four dogs, and two litters of puppies, a total of 12 dogs. She said within 10 minutes the entire porch outside was gone.
Because the fire traveled under the house, through the walls and into the attic, they could see fire licking at the vents but it didn’t enter the rooms and everyone was able to get out safely, DeVargas said.
Torrance County Fire Chief Don Dirks said a barbecue grill on the porch of the house was not properly extinguished the night before, causing a fire that traveled from the porch, under the house and into the rafters.
The family had used it the night before and didn’t realize it wasn’t totally extinguished before going to bed like usual, DeVargas said.
The house is located in Edgewood off of Venado Loop. DeVargas said it was a regular house, not a mobile home.
Dirks said fire crews responded in less than 20 minutes but the house was a total loss.
Santa Fe Fire Department, Torrance County Fire Department, Moriarty Fire Department and the Stanley Fire Department all responded to the call. Dirks said it took about five hours total to get the fire completely extinguished.
The family is now staying with DeVargas’ mom in Albuquerque, but looking for a home in the Edgewood and Moriarty area. The family lost all of their furniture, everything in the kitchen, all their new baby supplies, and all of their clothes.
The family also still has a barn on the property filled with livestock. They are commuting daily to tend to their animals.
They need girls clothes, size 7/8; girls shoes, size 1; women’s clothing, size small and medium; and men’s clothes, size medium, along with household goods of all kinds.
Neighbors asked The Independent to serve as a repository for donations of money or items for the DeVargas family. Anyone wanting to help can contact John at The Independent newspaper at 505-286-1212 and schedule an appointment. Additionally, a GoFundMe account has been set up.