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El Paso family escapes home after catching fire

Couple and three kids were sleeping when fire started

By: Ruben Veloz, El Paso Fire Dept.

EL PASO, Texas-- A family of five says they are grateful to be alive Wednesday morning after part of their home caught on fire.

The Galarza family was sound asleep when black smoke started to fill their rooms.

Firefighters say it started near the washer and dryer inside the garage.

The family said they were doing laundry before they went to bed, but the dryer was turned off.

We were sleeping, and then all of a sudden it started to smell really bad. I peeked down, and everything looked red," said Marlen Galarza.

Galarza said her garage was on fire, and all she could think about was the safety of her husband and three kids.

"My husband tried to put it out, but we couldn't." said Galarza. "911 was telling me don't hang up, don't hang up! and they came in less than 3 minutes."

The fire started around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night, on Lake Michigan and Pebble Hills drives.

Firefighters said the fire started in the dryer, and quickly spread to ceiling of the garage.

Galarza's mother lives nearby and said she thought the home was going to burn down.

"It looked like the whole house was burning," said Maria Ponce, "There was so much smoke coming out of the windows."

The family said they watched from across the street as firefighters worked to put the fire out.

Galarza tells KFOX14 she and her husband are grateful for the firefighters who saved her home, and that her kids were not hurt.

"I was crying, I was so scared," said Galarza, "scared for my first home, my kids, my husband, everyone."

Galarza said she and her family will stay at her mother's home for the night the smoke inside her home.

Firefighters said investigators will be sent to the home to find out exactly what sparked the fire.

 

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