After Fire Rips Through Orangevale Woman’s Home, Thieves Strike

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ORANGEVALE -- After her home caught fire, an Orangevale woman says she lost many of her belongings -- not just from the flames, but also from thieves who raided the damaged property that was left in front of her house.

"[A] bag had been gone through, [a] box had been kicked open," said Matta Holliday. "People have been going through them, and they probably looked at them and went, 'oh this is garbage,' or whatever, but to us that's not garbage, or I wouldn't have it in my house."

Last week Holliday's home near Greenback Lane and Sunrise Boulevard had an electrical fire in the wall between her garage and her kitchen. She said within 15 minutes it was fully engulfed. Fortunately, Holliday, her two daughters, son-in-law, two grand-kids and her five pets were able to get out alive. But now the house can't be lived in.

"Obviously the fire department put stuff out here because it was still hot and smoldering," Holliday said.

That stuff is what Holliday said someone has been rifling through, possibly even stealing.

"Clothes, blankets, I mean it's really not, I mean nobody really needs to go through our stuff," Holliday said.

Unfortunately, she said she has no way of knowing what was in the pile.

"It is burned out obviously, and is no good to anybody, but we needed it to claim the insurance," she said.

If the fire and thefts weren't bad enough, Holliday said the thief or thieves removed a tarp that was protecting these items from the rain.

"So now we're not only dealing with the fire damage, but now we're dealing with water damage and theft damage," Holliday said. "Why would you even want to come and hurt somebody? Why? It just doesn't make any sense."

After hearing about her family's struggle on social media, Holliday said many have come forward to help. She said she's grateful for everyone who has donated to them, and for her neighbors who are now keeping a close eye on the house.