The Guardiola family, whose home was damaged by fire on April 23, comes together for photo following dinner at Crossover Cantina and Eatery in Waterford. The family members are: (front row, from left) Ana, 13, Thiago, 10, and Katie; (top) Alex, Bella, 14, and Alex, 18.

Family of six didn’t have renters insurance

By Jason Arndt

Staff Writer

A Waterford couple and their four children are looking for a new place to live after a fire damaged their rented home last week.

Katie Guardiola, the mother, said she and her family have been staying with friends and other relatives while they search for a new home.

“We can’t stay at the house anymore, so we are staying temporarily with friends and family,” Guardiola said, who’s married to Alex.

Katie Guardiola and her husband, Alex, have four children, Thiago, 10, Ana, 13, Bella, 14, and Alex, 18.

The Village of Waterford Fire Department, according to a news release, responded to the Guardiola residence in the 200 block of First Street for a possible structure fire at around 2 a.m. April 23.

A preliminary investigation revealed the fire started in a first floor bedroom of the two-story structure and could have been an electrical issue.

Initial damage is estimated at $65,000, according to fire officials.

Katie Guardiola, meanwhile, said the fire left her youngest son devastated because it happened on the eve of his birthday.

“It is hard, my youngest son’s room, that is where the fire started and all of the damage took place,” she said. “He lost everything and (April 24) is his birthday.”

Quick action

Guardiola indicated Thiago’s friend who was staying overnight alerted the family after he discovered smoke while using the restroom.

After evacuating the home, Alex Guardiola went back inside to retrieve the family dog and close the bedroom door as firefighters arrived.

“My husband went back in and got the dog, an he closed the door of the bedroom, where the fire was and he shattered the window and started spraying water into the room to try to put the fire out,” Katie Guardiola said.

The Village of Waterford Fire Department said the firefighters contained the fire within 16 minutes of arriving.

Of the firefighters who responded, one was treated for fatigue and released, but the Village of Waterford Fire Department reported no other injuries or issues.

Fire Chief Rich Mueller commended firefighters for their efforts in containing the fire using the latest technology.

He said firefighters used a targeted transitional positive pressure fire attack with ultra high-pressure attack lines attached to an engine as well as thermal imaging technology.

“I couldn’t be more proud of their professional display of effectiveness and safety, saving this customer’s home and property,” he wrote in a news release.

To help the family, visit the following fundraising website: www.gofundme.com/guardiola-family-house-fire

To read the entire story see the May 3 edition of the Waterford Post.