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Young Ganado couple lose everything in fire (video)

By Bianca Montes
June 22, 2013 at 1:22 a.m.
Updated June 23, 2013 at 1:23 a.m.

The kitchen of Katherine Pilcik's and Robert Betancourt's home, at 4960 State Highway 172 in Ganado, which caught fire Friday night. No one was injured, and neither Pilcik nor Betancourt were home at the time of the fire, but the two are now homeless.

An unmade bed framed by a wooden post, two burned chairs in front of where a television once sat and an assortment of charcoaled ornaments are all that remains in a Ganado home.

A young couple lost everything they own in a fire Friday night.

Outside, smoke-tinted glass litters the ground, every window smashed from the engulfing flames, and the thick scent of melted paint and scorched wood lingers in the air.

Nothing is salvageable, not even a photograph.

Katherine Pilcik, 22, never imagined her home would catch on fire - until she got a call that smoke was billowing from the windows of the small house that she and her boyfriend shared.

She was shocked. She still is.

Her grandmother had been watching wrestling in a mobile home across the street when she looked out her front window and saw the fire.

"It was so hazy," Pilcik's grandmother said.

The Ganado Fire Department responded to the fire in the 4900 block of state Highway 172 South at 8:24 p.m., said Assistant Fire Chief Kurt Janica.

At the time, no one was home.

Pilcik was on a date with her boyfriend, Robert Betancourt, 21, when she got the call.

They were at a park.

"I thought it was something small," she said.

But when she neared her driveway, the only thing she could see was smoke and the flashing lights of several fire trucks.

Pilcik wasn't thinking about her home or her belongings, though. Instead, she was thinking about her five dogs that were home alone.

All five dogs were unharmed.

It took about 45 minutes for crews from Ganado, Lolita Fire Department and Edna Fire Department to extinguish the fire.

"Pretty much everything is gone," Pilcik said.

Until she is able to find a new home, Pilcik and her boyfriend will sleep on the floor at her grandmother's home.

The American Red Cross is providing the couple with food and clothing, said Linda May of the Crossroads Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Janica said the fire would not be investigated because the home was not insured and did not have a lien on it.



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