Community Looks to Rebuild After Carlsbad (NM) Family Lost in House Fire

Claudia L Silva

Carlsbad Current-Argus

(MCT)

Sherry Ellis said she and her husband Pat lost everything they had in a house fire that fully engulfed their home on Thanksgiving Day.

Not only did they loose all of their possessions in the blaze, but it claimed the life of the family’s pet dog Trigger.

“We were in between insurance from the old house to the new, so it was a total loss, we lost everything we owned,” Sherry said. “We are totally devastated and completely heartbroken for the loss of our Trigger.”

To help the Ellis’ rebuild, multiple local charities and organizations promptly began raising money in hopes of replacing some of what was lost.

A Go Fund Me started for the family raised almost $13,000 in donations by Dec. 3.

The United Way of Eddy County has also raised $1,000 and is still collecting donations, said United Way Program Coordinator Debby Terrazas. They started gathering donations during the Ugly Sweater Fun Run on Nov. 27.

Anthony Alanzo, also known as DJ G Money, said he went to high school with the homeowner, Sherry Ellis, and felt he needed to do something to help.

“I think it’s important to do our part as a community and help out,” Alanzo said “It’s devastating to lose a home that they were building for so many months and years. It was beautiful and to see it get destroyed in one day.”

Brad Hansen from the Carlsbad Fire Department said the fire started near the back of the house and was caused by electrical issues.

By the time Hansen’s team arrived on the scene the home was already engulfed in flames. He said temperatures likely reached over 2,000 degrees.

“We did have some challenges because the fire was so hot and burning up,” Hansen said. “The second-story roof collapsed on top of everything, so it did hinder our firefighting capabilities a little bit.”

Hansen said a room can catch fire within just two minutes and spread throughout a home within four. He said it took firefighters roughly two hours to extinguish the fire.

The family was in the process of remodeling their house before the Nov. 25 fire in the 1100 block of Church Street. Terrazas said anyone that passed through could see the progress the Ellis’s made on their home over time.

“They were almost done and we were excited to drive by and see,” Terrazas said. “It was a real tragedy.”

Claudia Silva is a reporter from the UNM Local Reporting Fellowship. She can be reached at csilva2@currentargus.com, by phone at 575-628-5506 or on Twitter @thewatchpup.

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