OGDEN -- A young family that moved here four days ago from North Carolina, escaping the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, has fallen victim to a house fire.
They were staying with another family, cousins, whose rental home at 817 2nd St., along with nearly all of their possessions, was destroyed in a fire early Saturday morning.
"We wanted to come here and make a big change -- not this kind of change," said Jesus Moreyra.
He said he was planning to move Dec. 1 into the basement apartment of the duplex that burned.
His family, including his wife and children, ages 4 and 5 months, had not unpacked their small trailer, which also burned in the fire.
"I worked for a little over five years to buy all these tools," he said while picking through the charred remains of his trailer. "It's all gone now."
Moreyra, an interior carpenter, said he doesn't yet have a job here and he's not sure what he will do to recover from the loss.
The 3:14 a.m. blaze destroyed the duplex and a car that was in a carport, firefighters said. They estimated the value of the structure alone was about $100,000.
The family of Jose Escobar, who lived in the home, did not have renter's insurance, said neighbor Allan Carter, who was working Saturday afternoon to raise funds for the families.
Escobar and his wife also have two children, ages 5 and 7 months.
The Red Cross provided assistance to both families. Carter said they had secured three days' worth of accommodations.
Moreyra and another cousin, Francisco Lopez, were clearing out what they could from the house and trailer Saturday afternoon.
Among the rescued items were the Escobar family fish.
Ogden Battalion Chief Hal Van Meteren said the fire likely was caused by faulty wiring in the carport.
The cause of the fire was ruled accidental.
Van Meteren said one of the residents was awakened by popping noises and discovered the fire in the carport in time to get everyone out of the house safely.
Carter said he was awakened by what he thought were gunshots.
He went across the street and saw the carport engulfed in flames.
Van Meteren said by the time firefighters arrived, the carport fire was moving into the house.
He said 19 firefighters who worked out of two engines and two ladder trucks took about an hour to fully knock down the blaze.
Moreyra said he had planned to move to the area for some time because he wanted to be closer to family.
A charitable account has been set up at America First Credit Union for community members to help the families. The account is under the name of Jose Escobar.
Carter said he's hoping people will help the families, especially because it is the holiday season.
Van Meteren said the time of year makes the fire even more tragic.