Family Recovery from Vacaville Fire

Today, I come forward to a community seeking any resources that may be available to us, willing any person who could offer assistance to my family in this devastating time. Tragedy has unfortunately struck us right where we’ve least expected it, and now we face the next day uncertain of nearly everything, except of our absolute appreciation of being alive to see another day at all. A close-call fire at our family home has left the remaining structure in complete disrepair, inhabitable and leaving the 4 of us with no where to go and some of us with nothing to take with us. While we’re honest to god just mostly grateful to be safe and together, and able to tell our story at all, the process of rebuilding a life is a thought that shakes us and leaves us confused as to where, or how to start. The home is at this point considered a total loss, and sadly all of my mother’s belongings were destroyed in the fire. While we were able to salvage some small personal things, the fire had crept across the ceiling in one room, and completely enveloped another- and the flames had rained down on mostly everything out in the open, including nearly all of our furniture. Those few pieces in rooms that were less effected are still severely damaged from soot and ash. Uninsured, our options to restart are heartbreakingly slim to none. We never in our wildest dreams imagined we would ever be in this situation, and we as a family are amazed and deeply overwhelmed by the actions of both Vacaville Fire Department and the actions of neighbors, close family friends, and any others who have assisted us in this trying state of our lives. The gratitude and eternal debt we have to you is so great. The tragic line of events still foggs our mind and brings tears to our eyes when we can’t help but recall, I only ask that you read ahead about the night that has changed how we think of our every day life and align your hearts with ours during the most impossible of circumstances. Thank you all for listening to us, and an immeasurable amount of love and light to the brave responders who helped us and our animals survive, even if we couldn’t say the same for our home. 

Currently, the days ahead we will try and rebuild a version of a normal life out of the ash of our old normal- and our main concern is only the ability to fund the clean up of the mess of the fire as well as a temporary place to stay, and most importantly provide ourselves with a doorway to a new stable home to reside, with necessary clothing and essentials so we can continue to go to work.  Anything and every single thing by anyone is appreciated so immensely. Thank you again for hearing us.



*On September 18th, 2018 my family and I awoke to a living nightmare, just about 3am at our home in Vacaville. While we were all asleep, our home had somehow gone ablaze; with no connected smoke detectors due to remodeling on the home, no one was alerted to the danger as we each continued to sleep through it all. By chance, my boyfriend Kevin had woken up from an alarm clock for work 15 minutes early- to a roaring fire at our front door step. He immediately ran and woke up everyone in the house, as we scrambled to get through a crowded back door that was out of use. My brother, Alexander, was able to think very quickly out of a dead sleep and ran for the back for our garden hose. When we emerged from the smoke, we seen that our next door neighbor was already to our aid with his own garden hose, both acting quickly. Neighbors from over the fence called down for our attention, offering a fire extinguisher. After calling 911 and making sure everyone was out of the home, Kevin attempted to go back into the home to rescue our two kittens trapped inside. After just moments, he was only able to grab one before the VVFD came and alerted him he needed to flea to safety immediately. 
First responders on scene, all we could do was watch as the fire tore through all what we knew as comfortable— praying that our family and our fur family would all make it out physically okay from this absolute disaster. As the flames flew in the reflection of the water on the ground, all we could do was weep. Some of us in no clothes, all of us in no shoes, barely out of the building for 2, maybe 3 minutes. In the wake of aching devastation, our neighbor came forward with a wet & singed but ultimately ALIVE and terrified kitten is his arms. One of the amazing fighters on the call had heard her meowing inside and pulled her from under a table, surely only feet from rippling flames. Luckily with our 2 dogs already rescued and seemingly upset but okay, we were able to focus on caring for our two kittens who were becoming lethargic from sleeping through inhaling smoke- trying to blow cleaner air into their mouths and desperately awaiting signs of recovery. Watching in horror as the fire team viciously tried to battle the harsh flame, we grew immediately thankful to be on the clear side of the smoke as we all started to realize the impossibly dangerous and terrifying situation we had only narrowly escaped in time. The impossible split second decisions and moments played back in our minds like a film reel over and over, tormenting us as we all settled to come to terms with what we’d just been through. The next several hours would consist of fire investigations and instensely digging to find what we could save, which sadly wasn’t much. While we are devastated by the loss, we are equally thankful just to have escaped with our family together. We don’t know for sure what lies ahead, but we know that we will hopefully prevail through it all and come out on the other side of things okay. You never know what was there all along until you have nothing at all.

We appreciate all the efforts from our community so incredibly and are so completely blessed to receive the kindness we’ve be given, even in result of this terrible day. We can never begin to express our gratitude to everyone who has been there for us in any way while we go through all of this. 


-The Hernandez Family
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Organizer

Crystal Jasmine Hernandez 
Organizer
Vacaville, CA
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