A charred Christmas tree, scorched Christmas stockings, a homeless family and five deceased dogs are the aftermath a housefire in south Hobbs.
Shelley Moody worked the night shift at a local convenience store and had laid down to get some rest Monday morning when her 69-year-old-mother woke her up alerting her their home at 307 West Castle was on fire. Her brother-in-law, John Moody, was pulling up to the house at the same time and saw the billowing smoke coming from the garage.
“I called 9-1-1,” he said
As they were escaping the flames, Shelley realized the family pets were inside and made three unsuccessful attempts to go back inside the home and save them. Only two survived and five Chihuahuas were lost. Prince, a blind, 9-month-old Chihuahua is one of the survivors. Shelley and John think the puppy’s particular sense of smell is what helped him navigate out of the house to safety.
The fire started in the attic and travelled through the garage, living room and kitchen, it didn’t get to the bedrooms, but the smoke damage is extensive. Shelley thinks it could have been a cat in the attic chewing on a wire that ignited the blaze.
“We had just put our tree up the night before and just got everything ready before this happened,” Shelley said. “We are all alive, I can’t complain, I have been very blessed in my life.”
For Shelley, tragedy is not new as she had lost her husband in September and had just paid off his funeral expenses. She was working on moving on with life with her son and daughter, both 9 years old.
“And this happens, but you know it is what it is, my kids are alive and my mom is alive,” she said while looking at the aftermath in her living room and explained the home did not have insurance, but she had just thought about purchasing some the night before.
“The stuff in the house is just material. I know that it all will work out, it is just one of those things that you go through in life,” she told the NewsSun Tuesday morning outside her home.
With the fire occurring so close to Christmas the 50-year-old widow feels bad asking the community for help, but a place to stay is what they need the most. The family is staying with Shelley’s mother-in-law, in a two bedroom home for now. The Moody’s need to find a place to stay while they see about fixing the home because nine people in the two bedroom home can be challenging.
“I just hate to ask, you know it is Christmas time,” she said. “We were going to try to salvage some stuff last night, but it was just too cold.”
John and a family friend, Mickel Jackson, were helping Shelley clear some of the debris Tuesday morning and both agreed they were going to do their best to help.
“This is kinda of tragedy for me too,” John said reminiscing on his late brother, Shelley’s husband. “This was mine and his inheritance.”
The Red Cross has assisted the family and Shelley said community members have donated clothes for the entire family.
Hobbs Fire Department Deputy Chief Barry Young said investigators determined the fire started in the garage area when a bed was ignited by either a space heater or a lamp. Young said he urges residents to use safety measures when using space heaters and keep them at a three-foot radius from anything that can catch fire. He also said using space heaters to keep pets warm is not recommended.
Shelley can be contacted at 575-964-0790 or donations can be made to her bank account 6132014145 at Pioneer Bank.