Overland Park family still struggling a week after fire destroys their home

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- It’s been more than a week since an early morning fire destroyed the Rendon family’s apartment in Overland Park and turned their lives upside down.

”I don’t even know where to begin. It’s just so surreal,” Dena Rendon said.

The apartment Rendon, her 13-year-old son and her 18-year-old daughter lived in for six years is now just a ravaged, charred shell.

”I really did love living here. It’s very, very tough now because that was our home,” Rendon said.

The metro mom said just before 4 a.m. last Monday the alarm on her son’s cell phone went off, rattling them all out of bed.

”We were yelling for each other, so yeah, I mean, it was really, really scary,” Rendon said.

The 37-year-old mom said the flames and thick, dark smoke trapped them inside their inside their apartment.

Worried about her kids, Rendon quickly tied several blanket together and safely lowered her kids outside.

"It all just happened so fast. I really didn’t have time to think. I’m just grateful that we all got out OK,” the Johnson County mom said.

Sadly, though their Shitzu-mix, Dash, died in the fire.

”He was a rescue dog. We had him for two years. He was so dear to our family. Everybody who met him loved him. I mean he helped me at some trying times in my life,” Rendon said with tears in her eyes.

Now, nothing is more “trying” for this weary, single mom than starting over.

”I know it will happen, but it’s gonna be a process," she said. "I had some health issues going on, so I couldn’t work. We had some outreach from the community and the American Red Cross gave us $545. But after staying in a hotel and trying to eat and stuff, that is almost gone so it’s very tough right now just worried about where we’re gonna live. I just pray that we can rebuild and that it will be easy and effortless."

If you'd like to help the Rendon family, a Go Fund Me page has been set up.