House Fire in Midland Causes Confusion For Red Cross

by Anayeli Ruiz 
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - A fire in Midland sparked confusion between a family and the Red Cross. So much so that the Red Cross denied the family services after their home caught fire. NewsWest 9 started digging for details after we got a call from the family looking to clear things up.

A fire broke out on Anetta Drive on Wednesday afternoon, the fire sparked up along a fence between two homes. One of those homes was vacant, the other was the home of the Navarrete's. The fires started in the vacant home and spread next door to the Navarrete's.

"We never thought we were going to see that, we never thought this was gonna happen," Corina Navarrete, said.

When the Red Cross responded, there was miscommunication from the family, firefighters and the Red Cross. The Red Cross thought that the Navarrete's owned both homes and were trying to get services from the vacant home so they denied the family assistance. But the Navarrete's told NewsWest 9 on Thursday, they don't own the vacant home.

"I don't know how the information got out that way, I don't know. Cause I was standing across the street they told us to stay away from the home. So I don't know how that came about. I don't know," Navarrete said.

The Navarrete's home was also badly damaged. That's where NewsWest 9 came in, the family called NewsWest 9, to see if we could help clear the misunderstanding.

"This is our house, the other people's house, that's somebody else's, it's not ours. So that's not the right information," Navarrete said.

NewsWest 9 talked to the Red Cross on Thursday and helped clear the confusion up.

"Overall, it was communication error but our bottom line is that everyone involved in a disaster receives Red Cross assistance," James Parks, with the American Red Cross of Southwest Texas, said.

Now with that help, the family hopes this will speed the process up to rebuild again. But in the meantime, the Navarrete family is scared because this is not the first time the vacant home has caught fire.

"This is the third time. First time, my son went over and put out the fire. The second time, I called the fire on Friday and this time it was just out of hand," Navarrete said.

The Red Cross is helping the Navarrete's with basic necessities. They are also trying to help speed up the insurance process for the family.