By Kathy Chouteau
Eliana Castro—a relative of a family of eight who lost their San Pablo apartment in an electrical fire—has established a Go Fund Me campaign to help them in their time of need.
The family was fortunately not present when the June 29 nighttime blaze destroyed their apartment, which played home to Eduardo and Maria Valenzuela and their six children ranging in age from four to 17 years old. Eldest Valenzuela daughter, Lizbeth, is a recent graduate of Richmond High School and serves as a Richmond Police Explorer.
No other apartments in the complex were destroyed in the fire.
The fire couldn’t have happened at a worse time for the family. Eduardo, the family’s sole provider, recently had his hours reduced at his construction job due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the Valenzuelas are currently staying with nearby relatives while they seek new housing, Castro said they lost everything in the fire and so she is fundraising “to help them get back on their feet.”
“All donations will go toward finding a place to live, food, clothing and essentials,” she said. In the meantime, the family is working with their former landlord to locate a new apartment.