KCK family left homeless following fire that investigators deem an arson

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- "It's just been so traumatizing for me and my children. We had all of our stuff including flat screen TVs, electronics and even $400 worth of food all stolen from us, and then hours later I get a phone call that my house is on fire," a frustrated Angel McDowell said.

McDowell says on January 15, somebody kicked in the side door of her home and once inside, stole anything she considered valuable.

"My kids and I were staying with my friend when all that happened. It's just so upsetting because I know they first threw a rock through my window, kicked in the door and stole our things," said McDowell.

The stress of it all was far from over. The next day after the break-in, Angel said she got a phone called that left her speechless and frantic.

"I got that call and was told that my house was on fire, and that it was damaged, and that the fire was really, really bad. I just couldn't believe it was happening," said the 24-year-old mother who believes the two crimes are connected.

"I'm just hurt and confused. I don't know why anyone would target us. We've only lived here for about four months. I don't have any enemies. I just know it's wrong and very traumatizing," added McDowell.

Investigators ruled the fire as arson. Right now, authorities do not know if the fire and burglary are connected. They are asking anyone with information about either crime to call the Kansas City, Kansas police and fire departments or the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS.

Meantime, McDowell, who has been unemployed for more than a month, hopes to land a nursing job soon and get back on her feet.

"It's just been so tough with trying to provide for my kids, get them to school and try to maintain some stability. The Red Cross helped me with food and temporary shelter right after the fire. In the meantime, I'm thankful that my friends are letting me stay with them," said Angel.

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