Fire destroys El Sereno family's home, burglars strike right after

EMBED </>More Videos

A blaze tore through an El Sereno apartment, but then the family had to deal with another problem as burglars targeted their home only hours after the fire was out. (KABC)

A blaze tore through an El Sereno apartment, but then the family had to deal with another problem as burglars targeted their home only hours after the fire was out.

"They're the reason that we lost our home, and then they come and take what little we have left of it and it's just incredible," Kenndra Ayala said.

The devastation began Thursday morning, when the empty apartment next door erupted in flames. A 30-year-old man was taken to the hospital with burns. Ayala said squatters had been living there for months.

"When we came in, the drawers were everywhere. There was clothes everywhere. The food was taken. Everything - everything was gone," Ayala said.

The fire caused extensive damage to the small apartment the family of five called home.

"It's been a year and a half of constantly calling the police and the bank still not being able to board it up properly," Ayala said.

Even treasured photos and diplomas were charred, Ayala's mother said. Then adding insult to injury, whatever the flames did not destroy were stolen.

The 19-year-old Cal Poly freshman said the squatters came back and burglarized their home.

"We locked it up because there was so much that we couldn't salvage all in one day that we just decided that we're just going to put some stuff out in the garage. When we came back it was gone," she said.

Ayala's school computer, TVs, clothes and even the food inside their fridge was taken. The family has no insurance and are trusting their faith to help them as they struggle to rebuild their lives.

"There's no thoughts. There's no words that can actually go into what happened. It's just so surreal and even right now, we're just in a stage of shock," she said.

A donation fund for the family has been set up. You may go to a Wells Fargo bank and offer a donation to the fund under Kenndra Ayala's name.
Related Topics:
burglaryresidential burglaryapartment firefamilysquattertheftEl SerenoLos AngelesLos Angeles County
(Copyright ©2018 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)