New home for burned-out family |

New home for burned-out family

Linda Hiller

Rosario Madrid is smiling her electric smile more these days.

Two months ago on Christmas Eve, her Bodie Flats mobile home was destroyed by a fire which burned everything, including all the Christmas presents for her 7-month-old daughter, Jennifer.

“It was so ugly,” she said in Spanish.

Last Thursday, a double-wide mobile home was moved onto the site where her old home burned, and as soon as it is ready, Madrid, 22, says she hopes to move in.

Since the fire, Madrid and her now 9-month-old daughter have been staying in her sister’s nearby mobile home, where eight people have been sharing the two-bedroom dwelling.

Upon hearing about the fire, many community groups came to the assistance of Madrid.

Christ Presbyterian Church in Gardnerville immediately took up a collection of clothes and household items, said member Charlene Rodman.

“I made an announcement in church and then everyone started bringing in things for the family,” she said.

Employees at Abuela’s, a Mexican restaurant in Gardnerville where Madrid works as a dishwasher, also took up a collection of replacement items for the single mother.

“We all pitched in to give her things for the baby,” said Melody Velasquez, who works with Madrid at Abuela’s.

At St. Gall Catholic Church in Gardnerville, parishioners took a collection at each of the Christmas Masses. Approximately $1,200 was given to Madrid which was used for the purchase of the replacement home, which is used and cost $3,000.

“It does need some work,” said neighbor Bonnie Larkin, who witnessed the Dec. 24 fire and also saw the new home being moved in on Thursday morning.

Madrid will be paying $200 per month to pay off the bulk of the cost of her new home.

Other generous community members, including the Red Cross, helped Madrid, who also takes care of her 16-year-old brother, Luciano, a student at Douglas High School.

The fire that destroyed the first home originated in the area of the water heater. There was no insurance.

Madrid has lived in Douglas County since she was 15, coming from Durango, Mexico. She speaks very limited English and communicates with animated facial expressions where words fail.

“I’m very excited for my new house,” she said in Spanish, flashing her contagious smile.