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Madera family loses home to fire

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Mike and Rebecca Orlando comfort their son, Devonte, 17, after learning that one of their dogs had died in a fire at their home on Decesari Avenue.


A family of six was displaced after a Wednesday fire destroyed their rented home in the 1300 block of Decesari Avenue.

No injuries were reported but the family reportedly lost one dog in the fire.

CalFire Captain Martin Lawler said no one was home at the time the fire was reported, about 11:30 a.m., and the apparent cause was an unattended space heater left on in the living room.

“When we arrived there was heavy smoke and some flames (were) showing. The fire started in a corner of the living room, went up the wall and then ran into the length of the attic,” Lawler said. “Half the home was fire damaged, the other half had (significant) smoke damage. We were able to salvage some of the personal contents for the family. The dog died as a result of smoke inhalation.”

Lawler said the Red Cross was called out to assist the family and three additional engines from Madera County Fire had assisted fire crews from the City of Madera with the fire.

Resident Michael Orlando told TV news crews that he was grateful for the few family photos and other personal things they were able to salvage, and also for the outpouring of support from the community. Orlando said he and his family were living with relatives.

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