THERMAL, Calif. - A fire destroyed one room of a house on the 56300 block of Market Street in Thermal. The fire was contained just after 2 pm Tuesday. Dalia Garcia's family called the house their home for three years. "It's been really emotional," said Garcia. "A lot of holidays, happy memories and all that stuff."
Garcia's mother and father, two brothers and nephew live together at the home. Thankfully, none were there when the fire broke out. "It was a really good feeling that they weren't there," said Garcia. "I'm just thanking God every moment that they're safe and sound."
Not every family member made it out safe. Oreo, a dog given to Dalia's mother as a birthday gift was inside the house. "He was going to be four years old," said Garcia. "He was very loved by the family, he was the family pet."
A tough dog the family says got into lots of mischief, there's paw prints in the concrete to prove it. "He was a trooper," said Garcia. "He was a soldier and the fire got him. It didn't even burn him, just the smoke. He suffocated, now he's gone."
The family buried Oreo in its favorite place to play in the yard. Then, they began to pull out damaged belongings from the house. The American Red Cross arrived to help the family find a place to stay and cope with the loss of a best friend. "My dad, he didn't even want to come," said Garcia. "My mom, she's just devastated about all this, she doesn't know what's next."
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, the family believes it was likely electrical. They said about 75% of the home was damaged and are not sure if they'll be able to move back in.