Fundraiser, Vigil Planned for Family after Hemet Apartment Fire Kills 4, Displaces Dozens

The apartment complex can be seen surrounded by yellow caution tape, multiple units deemed too unsafe to live after the deadly blaze.

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A community vigil and fundraiser are planned at My City Youth Center Tuesday to help the family torn apart by an apartment fire in Hemet pay for the resulting funeral costs. 

The event will go on from 8 am until noon. 

The community is also coming together in a different way. In front of the apartment complex, some gather to pray. 

“Because of what took place we wanted to be out here to support in any way, pray for people, uplift people, just be here for them,” Jesse Cuaron, a senior pastor at Living Way Christian Fellowship, said. 

At the apartment complex, Christina Moreno found support after visiting the memorial for her husband, Juan, and their three children: 12-year-old Maria, 4-year-old Janessa and 8-year-old Isaac. 

Moreno remembers waking up to her husband screaming for her to crawl to the door to get their baby girl and daughters out as he tried to get to the remaining children. When she got outside, she realized Maria wasn’t behind her and had not made it to safety.

The apartment fire that claimed the lives of four members of the Moreno family also left dozens of people with nowhere to go. The building can be seen surrounded by yellow caution tape, multiple units deemed too unsafe to live after the deadly blaze.

Sixty people in total were displaced, according to firefighters. Some families were still sleeping and staying at a Red Cross shelter, trying to figure out when and if they can return home.

For now, they rely on donations. A relative created a GoFundMe account.

“We ended up with five or six bags of shoes and clothes in different sizes. This was perfect to donate to the people in need right now,” Maike Joseph said while dropping off her donation. 

Firefighters are working with various agencies to see if families can move back into the units in the building on the other side of where the blaze burned.

The Hemet Fire Department chief said the fire that occured the day after Christmas was accidental and electrical in nature, centered around the Christmas tree.

There is no evidence of criminal activity, investigators said.

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