Family loses car, Christmas presents in apartment complex fire

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WEST VALLEY CITY — A fast moving fire that claimed 10 cars and caused $150,000 in damage is making the holidays hard for one West Valley City family. Not only did Brooke Valdez and her children lose their only vehicle, but all their Christmas presents went up in flames.

The carport at their West Valley City apartment complex was completely engulfed in flames.

"As soon as you open the door, you could feel the heat on your face," Valdez said. "It just spilled like lava. Car after car after car."

It was scary. We were shaking.

–6-year-old Atyanna Valdez.

"It was scary. We were shaking," said 6-year-old Atyanna Valdez.

As the flames died down, reality set in for the single-mom. Her car was gone and with it her only way to work.

"Nobody is going to take me to work at three in the morning," Valdez said. "Nobody is going to do that."

After months of saving for a special Christmas, it all went up in smoke.

"To know it's all gone is devastating," Valdez said.

I just thank my lucky stars that my kids are ok. In the end it's not what's under the tree, it's who is around the tree.

–Brooke Valdez

With all the chaos right outside their home, Tatyanna and Maricio Valdez hope one person remembers to show up on December 25th. These children still hope for a Christmas miracle and want a little something for their mom, too.

"Oh, to get my mom a new car," said Maricio Valdez, 8 years old. "But that's not going to fit under the Christmas tree."

West Valley City Police continue to look into the cause of this fire. They're calling it suspicious because of how fast the flames spread.

"I just thank my lucky stars that my kids are ok," Valdez said. "In the end it's not what's under the tree, it's who is around the tree."


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