Aurora family loses everything in possible ‘suspicious fire’


AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — An Aurora family lost virtually everything overnight, after a fire destroyed their home and car early Friday morning.

“It happened like this,” said Eva Villagran, while snapping her fingers.  “Our eight years [living in the same home] were gone.”

Villagran says she woke up to “popping” noises, around 4 a.m. on July 3.

“We couldn’t come out through the front,” Villagran told Fox31.  “I called out for my husband, but I couldn’t say anything anymore.  It was like my voice went away.  So my daughter stepped in and said, ‘Dad, dad, dad,’ and he came upstairs.”

Villagran says her two sons weren’t home that night as they were staying over at friend’s house.

She and her husband, Rudy, and her daughter, Celeste, had to escape out the back door—trying to get away from the flames.

“I thought I was going to die,” Villagran said, with tears in her eyes.

Once the family made it into the backyard, they say they were trapped in the corner—where the two fences intersected—surrounded by smoke.

At that point, they realized their best chance for survival was to escape through an opening near the side of the house, squeezing through an open spaces between two wooden posts.

“I couldn’t get through here,” Villagran said, motioning toward the space between the two posts.

“He [Rudy] helped me get through here.  Once I did, my daughter says I was up high and landed where that trash can was,” she said, pointing about 5 feet away at a large, plastic trash can.

The fire is still under investigation, but the Aurora Fire Department says they’re “exploring the possibility that this is a suspicious fire,” and don’t believe it was caused by a faulty appliance or bad wiring.

Neighbors have already turned over ring cam footage of the fire sparking.

“You just see something come out of the sky.  It looked like a shooting star, and then you just see fire,” said Villagran.

Investigators have not confirmed whether a firework caused the fire.

The community has already stepped in to help, with one friend showing up mid-interview to drop off food and water.

“We’re taking it hour by hour.  We don’t know what’s next.  Everybody’s been helping us.  All of our friends have been helping us,” said Villagran.

But the family says they accidentally let their renter’s insurance lapse in May, when they decided last minute to extend their lease another year.

They had planned to move out in May, but say COVID-19 altered their timeline.

“We have nothing.  We have to start all over again.  There’s not going to be any renters [insurance] covering us for any of our belongings.  Nothing is going to be covered.”

Villagran says their car was destroyed in the fire, and they only had liability insurance on it.

“The car is gone, it doesn’t even look like a Nissan Murano, just rusted metal.”

A GoFundMe has been set up for the family.

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