Family displaced by fire to shelter with relatives

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WALLA WALLA — The family members who lost their home in a Thursday afternoon fire said they will move out of a local motel, where they have stayed the past three nights, and move in with a relative.

“Right now it is only clothes that we need. But furniture will be at another time,” Carlos Solis said Saturday.

The Solis family — Carlos, his wife, three daughters and two grandchildren — are still looking for a more permanent home, and they must now decide if they will rebuild the partially burned structure at 505 N. Ninth Ave.

On Thursday, the Solis’ house was extensively damaged in a fire that investigators said probably started with faulty wiring and venting for a clothes dryer. The family had no fire insurance. Damage to the structure was estimated at $40,000 and another $20,000 in contents.

“The material (items), you can buy all the TVs and stuff, but a family you can’t,” Solis said. “Even the dog, my God, everyone was OK.”

Solis said he has had numerous calls from people wanting to help, but he isn’t ready to replace all items at this point.

“Maybe if there were a garage were I can put it, but right now everything is going OK,” he added.

After walking through the house on Saturday, Solis said he hoped some of the family’s clothes could be salvaged, but a professional cleaning will be required to remove the noxious smell.

“We took some of it out, and most of it we will have to throw it away because it gives us a headache,” he said.

On Friday, the Blue Mountain Action Council assisted the Solis family in establishing a trust fund.

Donations can be made to the Solis family at any Baker Boyer Bank branch.

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