ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – An Abilene father and son are working towards getting back to normal after their home caught fire overnight Monday into Tuesday, changing their lives. Through an investigation, the Abilene Fire Department (AFD) determined the cause of the fire to be a discarded cigarette in a trash can. That one cigarette caused $50,000 in damages.

Daniel Esparza Jr. lives with his father in their home in the 400 block of Amarillo Street in the Sayles area. Together, he and his father were left working to find salvageable belongings on Tuesday morning, literally picking up the pieces of their home where they’ve lived for nearly two decades.

“I was born here. I lived my whole life here. My son was born here. You know what I’m saying? Like, it’s memories,” listed Esparza.

While in his backyard on his phone, Esparza recalled seeing large amounts of smoke just after midnight.

“I seen smoke coming from inside the house and I went inside the bathroom. The whole bathroom was on fire,” Esparza described.

Most thankfully, a neighbor, Claudie Scroggins jumped in to help. She told KTAB/KRBC she knows firsthand how it feels to lose everything.

“The smell, the noise, the alarms; it’s very traumatizing. You never forget that kind of stuff,” explained Scroggins. “They have a 17-year-old, I have a 17-year-old son… I’ve been in a house fire. I wanna know what I can do.”

Between AFD and Scroggins, the Esparzas have been connected with resources in the area to help them stay afloat during this difficult time.

“Nothing is impossible. Stuff is replaceable, some’s not but long as you still got your life that’s all that counts,” Scroggins encouraged.

The Esparzas told KTAB/KRBC they aren’t sure what’s next for them, but they are thankful for the support so far. They are still shocked with how quickly life can change.

“It was crazy, though, ’cause I’ve never expected nothing like that… I lived here my whole life, ain’t nothing like that ever happen,” added Esparza.