Josh Sinclair and fiance Maria Ruiz moved their young family to Kansas as a place to settle down after several moves.
Sinclair works as a safety specialist at a wind turbine site, a job that’s moved them three times in a the past year.
“Obviously, we moved to Kansas because of his job, but you start creating memories there,” Ruiz said.
What happened oin Tuesday morning of this week will unfortunately remain in Ruiz’s memory for a very long time.
Around 10 am, Ruiz remembers hearing a big boom. She inspected the house and then began smelling smoke. She grabbed +-month-old Samuel and almost 2-year-old Emery and Pepper, the family dog. She found safety on her neighbor’s porch but watched the family home go up in flames scorching everything.
“When you see it, it’s really heartbreaking,” Ruiz said.
A bolt of lightning hit the family’s cable wire, causing the fire.
Ruiz’s family lives in Texas, Sinclair’s family lives in California. All the donations the family has received so far are from kind strangers in the Derby community.
The owner of Derby Donut donated clothing to the children.
“If it wasn’t for her, my daughter and my son wouldn’t be wearing clothes right now,” Ruiz said.
The family says the senior center quilted them blankets the night of the fire, which keep them warm during their nights at the hotel while they are without a home.
Despite the tight quarters of the hotel room, the family says they are happy to have one another to hold on to.
Emery wears 3T and 4T clothes, Samuel wears 9-12 month clothing. Donations can be dropped off at Derby Donut. The family has a GoFundMe site here.