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Fire puts families out of their homes and sends one man to hospital

Published: Saturday, Dec. 22 2012 8:52 p.m. MST

SANDY — A man suffered third-degree burns and another family also was left homeless after the duplex they live in burned Saturday afternoon.

The fire, the cause of which is still under investigation, started about 2:30 p.m. One side of the duplex was destroyed by the fire and the other has water and smoke damage.

That man and his wife live on the side of the duplex where the fire began. Joanna Eresuma, her husband, Andrew, and two children live on the other side with the water and smoke damage.

"There's smoke billowing out of their side and my neighbor is laying there on the snow with burns on his back," Joanna Eresuma said. "I didn't have time to grab anything, I took my kids and left."

Eresuma said everything she owns, including her wedding ring, was in her home and  she doesn't know everything that has been lost and what was spared.

Her father-in-law owns the duplex and they do have renter's insurance.

Even though the fire happened a few days before Christmas, the holiday isn't what matters and she is just grateful that her kids are safe, she said.

"I'm going to try to get up to the hospital to see my neighbor who got the burns on his back," said Andrew Eresuma.

The Eresuma family grabbed what they could after the fire was extinguished by firefighters and boarded up the windows to their duplex Saturday evening.

There is about "three inches of water on the floor, there's glass from the windows shattering right there," Andrew Eresuma said.

He said that thanks to a quick-thinking firefighter his family will still have Christmas.

"He was able to actually salvage our Christmas presents up off the floor before they got water damage, so we really lucked out in that aspect," he said. "The only thing I care about is my wife, my daughter and my son and our neighbors. Their lives are the most important thing."

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