Today was like any other day, at my shop on grand ave while trying to get ahead for the holiday season. And then in an instance my entire shop felt like it had been involved in an attack from an explosion. It all happened so fast yet slow, I heard the boom and within miliseconds my shop doors and windows all looked like they were going to burst, the doors flung open from the air pressure outside and the entire shop felt like it had lifted up and fell back down. At first my reaction was omg a bomb just went of, then I thought maybe something had fallen onto our roof. I ran outside after my shock went away. I looked around and to my suprise nothing. This was about 9:45/9:50 A.M. So I instinctivily walked to the sidewalk and notices a lil black smoke, I procedded to focus and realized something was on fire what seemed like a moving truck, I instantly called 911 at this point and started to run towards the truck, only to notice it was not the truck but a house. Panic set in as I was talking to the 911 responder whom transfered me to the fire department. As I was trying to figure out what else I could do to help a few neighbors had also came out and we noticed a man laying on the ground not 10 feet away and was burned up bad and seemed out of it... I reported all of this to the person on the phone. Still unsure of what actually happened and or if anyone was inside, I tried to stay calm. I had asked an elderly woman if she knew the house and if anyone could be inside still as wel... She said the Grandmother is usually in the house right now. My heart broke, and still im on the phone trying to tell the responder all I can till trucks arrived. It was only a matter of minutes as this house was going up in flames and then a second explosion happens. The people around the burnt man on the ground all decided to move the man to a better safer location and we all waited for help to arrive. About 5 min later Ambulances and fire trucks and cops all showed up simultaniously and started to do what they do best. Put a stop to the fire and its spreading. Meanwhile as we are all lost in emotions about the family members being inside possibly, we look and turn to our side and, I cant express this enough...
There was the Grandmother and the 3 little boys curious to the fire going on and then they realizing it was there home that had exploded. The sadness that immediatly took over was heartbreaking to say the least. The little boys fell to the ground while the grandmother held her hand over her heart and tried to stay strong while they all watched their lives they had build and loved and lived with one another turing to dust...
I wanted to hold them and tell them not to worry, that its ok, it will all be ok and they are gonna be fine but I didnt want to lie to them if it wasnt... How do you tell a family that is loosing everything as they watch that it will be fine. All I could do was let them hold one another and console each other in this tragic time. Not only was this family spritits in tears and heartache but its also the holidays and that just makes matter worse.
As the story was unfolding in front of us we still had no idea if anyone was in the house, and that was a very hard feeling to know, as the fire was being put out the news of I believe a woman was inside and had passed.
This whole story is sad on multiple accounts, and how this all happend is tragic as hell. A church had donated this family a new stove for the holidays and the woman inside Anita Johnson was in the home and a volunteer from the church. The worker that was installing it was outside and thats when all of this took a very hard turn. We are being told it was a gas leak and thats what cause all of this and for one person to lose their lives in the process and another in the burn unit clinic.
Nobody expects accidents of this magnitude to happen to them let alone just happen in general. We have a family that is just doing their best to get by and we have a lady (im told) that has a family as well that lost their, daughter, sister, mother. Its a very tought time all round for both these families.
I'm not sure how to help them all but I do know they need our help, they need our support, they need us to help ensure that this will pass and they will in fact be ok and do what they can to move forward from this.
The entire house is a loss, they didn't have insurance so these finances will directly go to the family to find housing. The holidays are 4 days away and we cant let them have no xmas at all. We can help them by helping to get them have some finances until a more permanent solution is figured out. We can help them with donations of clothing, shoes, food, almost anything that would be needed for the daily living situation, we can help them in any of these ways and I'm doing this gofund me to do my part as part of the Grand Ave community to help them keep there heads up, there hearts in good spirits and their lives moving forward!
Please won't you help us to help them have as best of a holiday experience that they can have right now. The world is a tough place we all know that, and they have just had everything taking from them, I know we can rally together as a community, a city, a human being and give them back something for the holidays.
If you are unable to donate money but would like to drop anything off to assist the family please use the information below and drop off at 11th Monk3y Industries (1022 Grand Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85007). 10am-6pm Tuesday-Friday and Saturday 11am-4pm
Grandmother Prudencia: size XLarge, shoes 8
11 year old Fransisco: size 14-16, shoes 7.5
9 year old Juan Carlos: size 12, shoes 6
5 year old Richie: size 6-7, shoes 13y
We have this at $20.000 not sure if that is every going to be enough but at this point its a start.
ALL PROCEEDS ARE GOING DIRECTLY TO THIS FAMILY IN NEED.
My hearts go out to this working family and to the family that lost someone as well.