INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- A day after flames destroyed their Independence home and all of their belongings, the community is helping the Sola family put their lives back together.
The blaze destroyed three homes on 44th Street near South Phelps Road on Wednesday afternoon. The Sola family had planned on moving into the home where the fire started next week.
"Had we moved in a week earlier, we could have been upstairs sleeping when the whole house caught on fire," said Laura Sola. "I could have lost my husband and my kids, I mean we could have lost it all."
On Thursday, the family received a lot of help from friends, neighbors and complete strangers.
Laura Sola and her three kids, ages 4, 11, and 16, were inside the home when the fire started. Sola said she and her kids saw smoke coming from a cable box, and when she went over to open the basement door, she was met with a plume of black smoke.
They all got out, but the dry weather coupled with wind, kicked up embers that burned the Sola’s 16-year-old daughter on the chest and caught grass and two neighboring homes on fire.
“It was a matter of three minutes that all three houses were involved,” Frank Coots, City of Independence Emergency Management spokesperson, said on Wednesday.
Fire trucks lined the street and Coots said more than 40 firefighters and officials from several different agencies helped to contain the situation.
“Three homes having to be evacuated, the damage that’s been done to this to the families, displacing them, it’s a significant event,” he said.
The Sola family estimates they’ve lost $100,000 they’ve invested in the home.