Neighbors helping Central San Diego family devastated by fire

Posted at 4:52 PM, Aug 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-23 23:56:02-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The Oak Park community helped the large family that survived a fire in their home Wednesday.

The fire was started by wires in the ceiling, arson investigators told 10News.

The house was inhabited by three sisters and their husbands. Each couple has three children, and the sisters are trying to obtain guardianship for the three children of a friend who recently died of cancer.

RELATED: Family left without home after fire

The families had just finished their back to school shopping for those 12 kids on Tuesday. The fire burned their new shoes and backpacks.

One neighbor stopped by with groceries she purchased from the Grocery Outlet Bargain Market. A store manager also donated some food for the family. 

"I told them that it was for a family, their house had burned down," said Tonia Merlo. "I didn't know if they had any food or not so the manager gave me the 2 for 1 packets of ham. He says, 'You know, you're doing something nice, so I'll do something nice too."'

Two church groups presented the family with a check for $600 Wednesday afternoon.

One of the three sisters who lived in the home says she's overwhelmed by the support. 

"You never expect for a community to get together and help out somebody that they don't even know," said Dulce Garcia. "I'm just very, very thankful for their kind harts and them trying to help us."

A GoFundMe campaign was also established to help the family.