Chula Vista school and district rallies to help family displaced by fire

Family loses home to a grease fire

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - Her home burned down Monday and she does not even know. It is a tough situation for young Isabella Natal, a first grader at Montgomery Elementary in Chula Vista.

On Monday, a grease fire started in her family's kitchen. That fire spread to the whole apartment and eventually two other units. Her family's apartment and everything inside was completely destroyed.

Isabella was at a friend's house playing when the fire occurred. The family slept at a relative's house that night but Isabella didn't know why.

"You know, we don’t want to disappoint her," said her stepfather, Raul Espinoza. "We're all reaching for help and hopefully we can recover from this."

Montgomery Principal Monica Ruiz said the news hit her like a ton of bricks.

"There's no home to go back to … That’s someone's worst nightmare, is to lose everything," she said.

Espinoza said, "It's going to be sad for her. She's little. She doesn't understand the loss that we've had."

Ruiz said the school and the Chula Vista Elementary School District are rallying to help the family. They are planning fundraisers and asking for donations.

Espinoza said he would tell his stepdaughter when she got home from school.

Donations of clothing, kitchen and household items and/or cash can be delivered to:

The Rayo de Esperanza Family Resource Center (adjacent to Otay Elementary)
1671 Albany Avenue
Chula Vista, CA 91911

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