New Year's Eve fire forces Breckenridge family out of home

BRECKENRIDGE, Texas (KTAB) - One family is out of their home going into the new year after an electrical fire on the final night of 2017. Juanita Silva lives with her daughter and four granddaughters. The Silva family is safe, and the community is joining together to keep them comfortable through the winter months.

Looking at the Silva home, it doesn't look like it's been damaged at all. A pickup truck still sits in the driveway, the roof is intact, and the walls look normal. But pictures shared by the Breckenridge Fire Department tell a different story.

Relative Amy Perez says that the house needs extensive work. "Wiring in the house needs to be redone. There's water damage. A lot of the kids' clothes got smoke in it, so they have that strong smoke odor. They're asking for donations for that. Anything that anybody can give will help."

Perez also says that the house was uninsured, meaning that the family is on their own when it comes to repairs. They aren't entirely alone, however, as this small town bands together to help.

The four young girls all attend the Junior Buckaroo Academy. Director Carrie Pierce says she's been in touch with the family, and they're happy to say that "Breckenridge has really stepped up and everybody has been overwhelmingly helpful to them. Everything they've needed, they've received so far."

Despite the tremendous loss, friends and family are relieved that a greater tragedy was avoided. Perez says, "They had some new smoke alarms installed on Saturday." The fire was the following night.

The Breckenridge Fire Department has been emphasizing the importance of smoke alarms, and in this case, they posted "smoke detectors saved this family tonight." The Fire Department has also shared that Walmart of Breckenridge has donated a box full of smoke detectors, meaning that other families can be safe.

In the meantime, the Silva family needs help. Estimated repair costs could reach nearly $10,000. The Breckenridge Medical Center is starting a raffle to raise money. Contact Sarah at (254) 212-0734 for more information.

Additionally, Junior Buckaroo Academy is accepting donations at their Breckenridge and Cisco locations. Clothing sizes needed are 7/8, 4T, and 3T. The Academy will accept monetary donations, alternatively, an account has been created at First National Bank in Breckenridge for Juanita Silva.

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