Fundraiser aims to help Richmond family who ‘lost everything’ in fire

Fundraiser aims to help Richmond family who ‘lost everything’ in fire
Photo courtesy of the GoFundMe.

By Kathy Chouteau and Mike Kinney

A GoFundMe fundraiser has been launched for a Richmond family of six who lost everything in a house fire Wed., Sept. 28.

The house fire, which was a rental on the 200 block of 4th St. in Richmond’s Iron Triangle neighborhood, left Maru and Javier Magdaleno and their four children homeless, according to the GoFundMe page.

“Their house caught fire and unfortunately they lost everything—nothing could be recovered,” stated Angelica Cornejo, organizer of the fundraiser in Spanish. “They are going through some difficult times and the only sustenance of the family is Javier.” She went on to add that they need our support since the place where they lived was a [rental] and right now they’ve been left homeless.”

“There was heavy fire damage to the rear of the residence and adjacent outbuildings on neighbors’ property,” Battalion Chief Victor Bontempo told the Standard about the Sept. 28 fire, which he said  started at approximately 2:05 p.m. and was contained by 3 p.m.

The battalion chief added that 17 firefighters fought the blaze, including three fire engines and one firetruck from Richmond and one firetruck and one fire engine from the Con-Fire Protection District. Two battalion chiefs from Pinole and El Cerrito also responded. At this time, the cause of the 1910-era house’s fire is still under investigation, he said.

According to witnesses, the plume of smoke from Wednesday’s residential fire could be seen throughout Richmond and San Pablo. “The big black smoke cloud slowly wafted toward San Pablo and Pinole and was visible for a good long time due to the lack of wind,” said local photographer Linda Hemmila. “Both the fire and smoke were coming from the rear of the building.”

As of this writing, the GoFundMe to help the Magdaleno family recover from this tragic setback has raised $3,380 of its $10,000 goal.

“We would greatly appreciate any kind of donation! Let’s do our bit for this family that needs support from our community,” stated Cornejo. Click here to support the GoFundMe fundraiser.