Tatyana Platt has set up a GoFundMe to help Angel Mercer and Kim Justinich, whose home suffered extensive damage in a fire on Aug. 18.
Justinich was asleep when a fire started in the garage of the home on San Juan de Rio Drive, which about a block away from Rio Rancho Elementary. She called Mercer, who, in a panicked rush to get home, got into a car accident. The cause of the fire is still being determined.
Mercer was banged up from the crash but did not go to the hospital. Instead, she went home to find Justinich and their five dogs all unharmed from the fire.
The garage burned to the ground, and severe damage was done to the home, which Justinich inherited when her mother died in 2013. Justinich was 16 years old at the time and had heavier things on her mind than buying homeowner’s insurance.
“The firefighter chief said we’re looking at probably about $100,000 worth of damage and with no insurance, that’s going to be near impossible,” Mercer said. “Money that we would never in our lifetime have … I’m hoping that we can repair/rebuild the garage at some point, but for now getting the inside fixed is my main concern because staying at a hotel is just not financially an option.”
Since the fire, Mercer, Justinich and friends and family have been working to clear out the rubble and get the house repaired.
“I first was given the house from my mom at age 16; I didn’t care about anything at that age. I was just mad at the world for taking my mom when it did,” Justinich said. “I don’t need anyone’s pity or anything. I’m 27 years old now and we’re doing something about our situation to help ourselves. We’re doing this because this home is our foundation; this home was everything I had left of my mom. I’m gonna fix this home even if it kills me.”
To donate to the GoFundMe, click here.