Detroit family rebuilds after house fire during father's funeral

Posted at 11:11 PM, Apr 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-17 23:11:32-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — "It’s just been a nightmare," said Kristin Martines. "This has been the worst week of my entire life.”

Standing outside her home on the west side of Detroit, Martines reflects on what she just lost. Everything her family owned is now in a dumpster in the front yard, destroyed by smoke, water and fire.

"My neighbor, lady across the street called me and said your house is on fire, and I busted out in tears and said 'this can’t be happening,'" Martines said.

Early Wednesday morning, the house she and her kids call home went up in flames. They weren’t home at the time. The whole family was out of town for a funeral, where her four kids buried their 46-year-old father.

“My kids basically haven’t grieved," Martines said. "They came right from the funeral home to no home.”

Kristin says her kids and their father were close. Explaining his passing to her 11-year-old son has been tough.

“The funeral, he pulled a chair up to his fathers casket and sat there the entire time and would not leave his side," Martines said. "That in itself was just heartbreaking.”

On top of the loss of their father and their belongings, yet another loss was taken in the flames.

“The family dog we’ve had 11 years, a little chihuahua, he didn't make it out of the fire," Martines said. "So that’s pretty hard on my kids too.”

Within days, family and friends got to work. They raised some money to repair walls and windows, but there's still a lot more work to be done.

Not everything lost this week can be brought back. With support, Kristin and her family will rebuild what they can.

"At least I still have a structure to work with," Martines. "Without that, I don’t know where we would be.”

The fire is under investigation by the Detroit Fire Department. The family has set up a GoFundMeto pay for the repairs.