Fresno family loses home and 10 pets in fire

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) – When Shaundra Wilcox drove home Friday night, she never imagined she would stop and see this.

Crews responded to a fire at the home she and her family are renting near Thomas and Adoline in central Fresno

“It’s unimaginable to see everything go up in smoke and see your 17-year-old daughter covered in ashes,” she said.

Saundra says her daughter and her roommate were home at the time and they all got out safely. But her husband went back inside for the pets.

Shaundra and her family are animal lovers and even encourage vulnerable cats and dogs to eventually adopt.

Her husband and firefighters were able to rescue six cats and dogs.

“They are heroes, all of them,” she said. “Everyone who was there that night was heroes.”

But not all the animals were saved. Ten cats and dogs were killed in the fire. Some foster animals, some pets.

“They were our babies,” Wilcox said. “They weren’t animals. They were our babies.”

Shaundra says her daughter is distraught after losing the cats that comforted her.

“She had to leave her own cats behind,” Shaundra said. “She’s on the spectrum and these are her support animals.”

Firefighters called the fire accidental and said it may have been caused by an overloaded circuit, which is not uncommon in older homes.

The family says an after-market all-in-one charging station for a smartwatch, earphones and phone purchased from Amazon was among the devices plugged into that outlet.

They are warning other families to be careful with the devices they use in their homes.

Fire investigators say they cannot determine the exact reason the circuit caught fire. It will be up to an insurance investigator to determine if a specific device led to the fire.

Amazon released the following statement: “We are deeply saddened by this report and are currently investigating. Safety is a top priority at Amazon. We require all products offered on our store to comply with applicable laws and regulations and have developed industry-leading tools to prevent unsafe products or non-compliant products from being referenced in our stores.”

Shaundra and her family had a small tenant’s insurance policy, but that money will only help them as long as they start over.

A GoFundMe started for the family.

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