Crossroads community pitches in to help pet sitter after fire
May 17, 2014 at 12:17 a.m.
Updated May 18, 2014 at 12:18 a.m.
Community members are banding together to help Victoria's "fairy dog mother" after her house was damaged in a fire last week.
Several animals were inside the home, most needing care at veterinarians for smoke inhalation, and to help offset the medical costs involved, neighbors, friends and local radio station Q-92 are asking the community to lend a hand.
"Right now, they're in a time of need," Tim Bassano, a neighbor and long-time friend, said. "They are selfless when it comes to helping others, and I would really like to see people reach out to them to show how much we respect and think of them."
Bassano said he was home Thursday when he heard fire trucks in the neighborhood.
"It looked like they stopped in front of their (Heidi and Paul Sanchez's) house," he said. "I saw Heidi. She was pretty frantic, but I tried to console her as the firefighters were recovering the animals."
Sanchez is a pet sitter and had several animals in the home at the time of the fire. Firefighters were able to save all of the animals except the family's cat, Ben.
"Heidi is very appreciative of the first responders and the vets. She just bursts into tears every time she thinks about how they saved the animals; she really can't thank them enough," her sister, Heather Uresti, said.
Uresti said her sister was preparing to open a pet hotel on Adcock Dairy Road and said most of the supplies purchased were destroyed.
Friends and strangers pitched in after the fire to help the family clean out the home.
"We are still trying to go through to see what is salvageable," Uresti said before breaking down in tears. "People have brought an enormous amount of food, and everyone is asking what they can do to help - I can't even put into words how thankful we are."