A Pasco Family of Eleven Loses Everything in a Fire, and Needs Help - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

A Pasco Family of Eleven Loses Everything in a Fire, and Needs Help

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PASCO, Wash. - A Pasco family of eleven is in desperation after a fire destroys there home.

Daniel and Martina Mendoza are the proud parents of eight children and 3 grandchildren who were all living in a double wide trailer on Janet Street in Pasco before it burned to the ground early Monday morning.  The family said a space heater in one of the bedrooms caught fire around 2:00 a.m.  No one even had time to put on their shoes before escaping. 

They're staying at a the Red Lion Hotel in Pasco, paid for by the children's school teachers.  But next week they don't know where they'll be living. 

Even though they've lost everything, Daniel Mendoza said he's just grateful for what they do have ... family.  "I feel happy because I have all my family.  They're O.K. and they're by my side."

The Salvation Army and the Red Cross have provided clothes for the family.  But without toys, books or other forms of entertainment, the kids are restless and the mother Martina Mendoza is trying not to show the kids how much she hurts inside.  "I feel good because my children are healthy, and doing fine," as she bursts into tears. 

The weight of responsibility on Daniels shoulders is getting heavier.  As the sole provider of eleven people, including himself, he's an immigrant from Mexico, knows little English and searches for odd jobs to do everyday, hoping to make some cash and put food on the table.  But he's not asking for donations. "What I want is work, not money. I don't want any of that. I know how to work."

The family is working with the Housing Authority and the Community Action Committee to search for a permanent home.  What they need is the basic day to day material items, such as clothes, bathroom items, and beds.  The family's neighbor Byron Lampson from Lampson Cranes has helped take the family's clothing measurements.  A list of the clothing measurements can be found under the "On-Air Links" tab on our home page.  There's also a storage unit at 1918 Riverview Drive in Pasco where people can drop off donations.

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