Frontline workers risk their lives every single day for the safety of the public. They leave their families and loved ones behind and fight through every obstacle. However, many of us do not acknowledge their daily sacrifice. A recent incident in the US shows once again how much these brave souls put at stake when they are out on duty.
A firefighter from Washington State battling wildfires lost his entire family to a fire accident that occurred at his house. According to Mirror, Raul Garcia-Santos lost his wife, Marcaria Garcia-Martinez, his daughters, Luz Garcia-Martinez, 17, and Michelle Garcia-Martinez, 6, and his son, Luis Garcia-Martinez, 15, in the fire that broke out on 27th August 2020 at 1 AM. The family, who had recently moved to their new property, was spending their first night there. Unfortunately, that first night became their last night.
According to the Daily Mail, the family’s single-wide trailer was already engulfed by flames when the Benton County Sheriff sent help to its location at Green Acres Mobile Home and RV Park. On arrival, the deputies found the remains of the family members inside the house. Additionally, the front side of the house was “burnt beyond recognition.” Speaking to CNN, Benton County Fire Protection District Chief Ron Duncan said, “There was really nothing we could do.”
“Either because no smoke alarm was present or an alarm was present but did not operate, as it was in homes with working smoke alarms. It’s a very sad case and it reiterates the fact that smoke detectors save lives,” said the Chef.
“At this time, it appears the fire started at the front or west end of the trailer where the kitchen/living room area was located, however the cause of the fire is still undetermined,” wrote the authorities on Facebook, according to the Daily Mail.
Meanwhile, CNN reported that the fire was so intense that a trailer nearby also caught fire. The officials were able to save the residents, fortunately. A neighbor stated that he was woken up by the sound of the explosions that happened as a result of the fire. By the time he raced outside, the fire spread stretched 30-feet high.
An autopsy done showed that the four victims died as a result of smoke inhalation. Further investigation into the fire revealed that it occurred due to an overloaded electrical circuit. The authorities also stated that the house did not have any working smoke detectors.
At the time of the incident, Raul was more than 200 miles south in Okanogan County battling Palmer fires. He was sent to the location after the fires burned across 17,988 acres. “The fire is completely lined and firefighters are now focusing on holding and improving their lines and eliminating any remaining heat within 200 feet of the fire’s edge or within 300 feet of structures,” said authorities.
With his family gone, Raul is left to rebuild his life again. Meanwhile, a GoFundMe was created to help the firefighter cover the funeral expenses of his wife and kids. The page said, “A family of 4 passed in a house fire they have no family here in the state of Washington just close friends I’d appreciate any help that we could get.”
According to Daily Mail, more than 500 kind-hearted people donated. Although the funeral service is over, people in the neighborhood are not yet over the shock. They are unable to believe that the lives of a devoted mother and her innocent children were lost so suddenly. Many took to social media to share their condolences with Raul. “I could not fathom this! Praying for The Father and Family. May God Bless These Beautiful Angels!” wrote one.