Community Comes Together to Help Rebuild Lives
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. On March 30, the unthinkable happened to a mother and her son.
"It was a regular day, I was with family and friends, we had dinner. Two in the morning ... my house was in flames," said Liz Martinez.
Although the Martinez family is short of a house now, they aren't short of friends and a community ready to help them.
"We have the Grand Junction Gladiators here, the football team, so we got a lot of big muscle behind it. They just took it all down, axes, chainsaws, and got the dumpster filled with our first load," said Janell Johnson, marketing manager of the Grand Junction Gladiators.
"We're helpin' Liz and Gabriel clean up their house so they can have a good environment to sleep in," said Johnson's son, Aiden.
Edward Johnson, founder of the Gladiators, says, "Liz is a member of our church. We heard about the tragic thing that happened here, and I just knew that I had a bunch of guys on the Gladiators football team, and we needed to get out and do some community outreach, so we said, we'll start here."
Early Saturday morning, the Gladiators cleared out the porch. It was an electrical outlet in the porch that started the fire.
Unfortunately, Liz and her son Gabe dealt with a more painful loss earlier this year.
"Gabe, he is 12 years old, and he has went through this tragic event with his mother, after losing his father just before Christmas. Before Christmas and up until now, it's been very long," said community advocate, Juanita Trujillo.
The Christian Brotherhood Motorcycle Ministry and other community members all came to support the clean-up.
"Luckily, with the strength of neighbors and friends, I was able to hold up. I've just been living day by day. I'm just hoping to get the house rebuilt," said Martinez.
Trujillo said, "It's incredible, it's magical ... I was texting people, come be part of the magic. People want to help, they just need to know how."
Although Gabe and Liz lost their home, the community won't stop until the family has a new one where they can start to build new memories.