Family may be evicted after fire at Escondido apartment complex

Father said rent money burned in Nov. 19 fire

San Diego - Eight families were forced out of an Escondido apartment building after a fire last month, but now one of the families told Team 10 they are being kicked out of their temporary unit.

David Jimenez lived in a unit at the Palmilla Apartments until a fire ripped through it on Nov. 19.

On Dec. 6, Jimenez met with Team 10 after he took a two-hour bus ride from Escondido to Clairemont to get to his two jobs. The single parent does this every day to support his two children.

"Right now, technically, I don't have anything. If they kick us out, we are on the street with nothing," said Jimenez.

Jimenez and his neighbors had to run out of their apartments when the fire broke out. He said Palmilla Apartments sent a plumber to his unit and the plumber was soldering in his bathroom when he smelled smoke.

"Just to get my kids and my animals out as quickly as possible; that was my main concern," said Jimenez.

Jimenez said $800 in cash -- the money he owed Palmilla for half of November's rent -- burned in his apartment, along with everything else.

"They can't get the money and they aren't trying to help out," said Jimenez.

He said Palmilla moved him and his family to a unit on another property with no furniture, and now management wants the money he owes them -- first month's rent for the new place and for him to sign a new contract.

Jimenez said he owes $2,000 or he and his family will be evicted.

Team 10 went to Palmilla Apartments to ask about these claims, and an assistant manager -- who did not give Team 10 her name -- said, "No, no. That's not true. Right away, the same day, we took care of them."

"You're telling me that you are going to make sure they are OK and you aren't going to throw them out before Christmas?" asked Team 10 Troubleshooter Cristin Severance.

"No, we aren't," said the assistant manager.

Jimenez said he's relieved if they keep their word.

"I got two kids, I'm the only parent. I'm more than willing to work with them," said Jimenez.

The family was helped by a Facebook group called Escondido Friends, a closed group with 12,000 members.

The group provided furniture for Jimenez's temporary apartment and a few toys for his young son.

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