Community helps family recover after fire destroys home 2 days before Christmas

Local News

NORTH HIGHLANDS, Calif. (KTXL) — A North Highlands family is still without a home Sunday night after a fire destroyed the four-plex they were living in just two days before Christmas.

Deja Brown and Chris White told FOX40 they were looking forward to celebrating as a family before the fire.

“Just getting ready for Christmas. It was pretty much happy because I just made the money to make Christmas just the day before,” White recalled.

But after Brown left to go to the store, White noticed something was wrong at their apartment. He started hearing a faint beeping sound from the fire alarm.

“I got to approaching the room from the hallway, I could see the flames come up the side of my bed,” White said.

White noticed the flames while he was on a video call with Brown

“I seen flames in the background. I heard the kids screaming, ‘fire, fire, mommy, mommy.’ So then that started to make me panic,” Brown recalled.

She immediately started to head back home.

“By the time I got back to the house, everything was burned,” Brown said.  

The boarded-up, burnt-out apartment is all that’s left of the couple’s home and after spending eight years building memories there.

The couple told FOX40 that everything they’ve worked for was gone in a matter of minutes.

“Everything we ever owned from a piece of paper to jewelry, all that’s gone,” White said.

To make things worse, the couple was left with nothing to give their kids for Christmas.

“For that to happen two days before Christmas, it was just like a tragic, tragic loss,” White said.

But the local community wasn’t about to leave this family behind.

A toy giveaway was quickly organized for the kids and the Red Cross stepped in providing gift cards for the families.

On top of that, the family has surpassed their $4,000 goal on their GoFundMe page.

“That lifted us up to move and to have positive energy like, ‘it’s not over with, you all got it, you know, stuff happens,’” White said.  

For those who would like to donate to the couple, tap or click here.

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