TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A Tucson family loses everything -- their belongings, their pets, their home of 30 years. It all went up in flames last Tuesday in an explosive house fire.
Smoke filled the sky. Rural/Metro Fire Department rushed to the scene but the home is a total loss. Now the family tries to pick up the pieces.
Mildred Hastings finds the remains of photographs her mother took; some, she said, before 1940. Her memories are charred.
And 30 years of things the family had accumulated were gone in a matter of minutes.
"But they're just things, and things are just that -- things," Mildred Hastings said. "All of us, the five of us, got out and we got out safely."
But the family cats they've had for 14 years aren't so lucky. Still, Hastings knows it could have been worse.
"I could have lost my husband and my son," she said.
The house -- the cars -- the things can be replaced. But Hastings admitted it's not easy. The first night without a home, they spent hundreds of dollars just on toiletries.
And now, the family of five shares one car. The fire destroyed five cars; two of them were used for business.
"Crying is not going to do me any good so I'm trying to smile through it, but there are moments," Hastings said.
But when the moment passes, it's back to work at the scorched home, figuring out what -- if anything -- remains.
If you would like to help the family during this time, there is a Wells Fargo account under "Mildred Hastings."