HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: ONE FAMILY'S SEARCH AFTER RECENT FIRE
It was going to be the Bianco family’s new home, a place closer to work with friendly neighbors, but that plan went up in flames.
"I had the entire kitchen set up,” Erin Bianco said. “I had pictures on the wall, I brought over all our clothes cause we were suppose to start staying here that night that the fire happened."
Fortuna Fire Chief Lon Wilburn says the fire happened on November 26 at 12:01 a.m. and that the cause of the fire is unknown.
"There was no ignition source in the area,” Wilburn said. “No fuel load in the area."
The family of five planned to move from Eureka to Fortuna, and moved everything but the heavy furniture the night of the fire.
"I wasn't able to get the truck to load up our beds," Mrs. Bianco said.
Which may have saved their lives.
"They were there about an hour until we got called,” Wilburn said. “So when it happened, it happened pretty quick."
Smoke damaged the entire house, and there was a little fire damage to the kitchen.
"But the damage was really extensive to the garage, it pretty much ruined the front portion of the garage," Wilburn said.
Vincent Bianco points out that the family they had rented the place from lost their childhood home as well.
"So it's been a tragedy,” Mr. Bianco said. “But at the end of the day we're glad our children are alive and nobody got hurt."
Luckily, the Red Cross helped find the family clothes and what would have been their neighbor, set up a bank account for donations.
“And I even made a comment to her, and said 'you don't even know us,'” Mrs. Bianco said. “And she said, 'we were moving in, we were neighbors and we always will be.’"
Which the Biancos said made them that much sadder to not be apart of that community.
The family has been able to stay in their previous house in Eureka, but is being told they need to move out. Mr. Bianco says they are undergoing an emergency hearing on Wednesday in hopes of getting an additional week to find a new place in time for the holidays.