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Dec 24, 2012 8:52 PM by Samantha Ptashkin

Tucson family without a home this Christmas after fire

TUCSON- A Tucson family is basically living out of the back of their truck this Christmas Eve, after a fire rips through their south side home.

"My mind is kind of everywhere right now," says Amanda Valdez.

Valdez lived in the home with the two children she babysits for and their mother. She says she and the kids were enjoying a quiet night at home, when the fire started at around 9:30pm.

"I saw the flames bursting through the door," says Nine-Year-Old Angel Castro, one of the children who lived in the home.

Castro managed to get himself and his six-year-old sister to safety. "I just grabbed her by the arm, opened the door and gave her a little shove and I told her to go wait outside," Castro says.

He watched as the flames destroyed the family's storage room and most of their Christmas presents inside.

Valdez managed to salvage whatever belongings she could and put them in bags in the back of her truck.

With their house and Christmas lights scorched, they have a lot on their plate. "It sucks having no Christmas tree," Valdez says.

But this Christmas Eve their spirit is strong. "This is just a little bump in the road," Valdez says. "We'll get past it."

The family is staying in a hotel for the next couple of days, but they say it will take months to repair the damages. They're not sure where they'll end up, but they're happy everyone is safe.

Tucson Fire says the fire started because of an electrical malfunction involving the water heater.

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