Families in Ripon cope after tragic fire

CREATED Dec. 12, 2013

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RIPON - "I lost all my documents, I don't have a license, I don't have nothing with me," said McBeth Fernandez. She was in a deep sleep when the fire broke out, a neighbor woke her. She was able to get out safely, with only the clothes on her back.

"What you see. This is my only clothes."

Fernandez lived in this apartment building in Ripon that went up in flames early Wednesday morning.

Crews are using heavy machinery to try to figure out what started the fire, but the fire chief says it's been difficult."

"The ice build-up from the water and the conditions, the cold, hampered the investigation a lot," said Ripon Fire Chief, Tim Saul.

Seven families have lost their homes, including 13 adults and 13 kids.

"The biggest need is just the local support from the community and finding long term housing situation," said Nick Cluppert of the Red Cross.

For now, Fernandez , her husband, and their three teenage boys are staying at a hotel.

"I lost everything, but the most important thing is that we are fine, my kids especially," Fernandez said.