Packed In: Family loses home in fire, finding rent double the price of their mortgage
SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – A fire ripped through a home in Spokane Valley, leaving a family of four without a roof over their heads.
Angela and Demontate Lopp were in the process of remodeling their double-wide mobile home in Spokane Valley. As Angela went to the store to buy supplies to fix the front steps, she received a call from her husband that their home was on fire.
Her son saved her husband; Demontate was sleeping in another room when the fire broke out on March 27th. The Spokane Valley Fire Department says the fire is still under investigation and they don’t know what caused it yet.
“I’m homeless. How do I support my kids?” Angela told 4 News Now this was the first thought that went through her head as she saw her home of 12 years burn.
All their hard work was gone in just minutes. From housed to homeless, Angela is still counting her blessings and trying to be positive.
“Grateful that I didn’t have to lose a house and family,” she said.
For the last week, the Lopp family has been trying to move forward, realizing that they now have to start from scratch. Angela said they had some totes in their back storage – which contained photos – but lost mostly everything in the fire.
“By the time we were able to take our first shower, we realized, we don’t even have a pick. So, just realizing and having reality hit us that it’s really starting over,” Angela continued. “It’s not like leaving home and getting your first place, at least you have a few bags to take with you. We don’t have anything.”
Angela said they have insurance, so they’ve been working through that. However, the money for temporary housing is not going to be as much as she thought. They’re currently staying at her mom’s house.
“Grateful for my mom that we at least have a place to stay. If I didn’t have my mom, it’d be hard,” she said.
The Lopps found an apartment, wanting to stay in the same area so their two kids can stay in the same school. However, rent was much more than they expected.
“Rent is crazy. The rent we’re looking at just for our two-bedroom apartment, just temporarily, is double what our mortgage is,” Angela said.
The average rent for a one-bedroom in Spokane costs $950. For a two-bedroom, it’s $1,306, according to Apartment List. Rent spiked nearly 16 percent in the last year.
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Finding another home is not an option the Lopps want to pursue, either.
“The market is so bad. It would put us so far in debt,” Angela said.
Angela and Demontate were only six years away from paying off their mortgage. Now, they’re starting over, hoping to eventually build on their lot again someday.
“I’d like to keep the property and just find something else to put on it. It’s just finding that process and that process could take a while. I don’t want to use what little we’re going to get back [from insurance] for the structure because I want to apply that to get something else,” Angela said.
In the meantime, they’re leaning on family, friends and the community to get by and figure out where to live next. She said she’s seen a lot of support from those around her, including her church community, during these hard times.
“We’re kind of in the mode of trying not to get frustrated with life because we keep getting doors slammed in our face more than they’re open, but a good friend reminded me… that God always shows up for us even in the last moment, so, just waiting for that moment,” Angela said.
Angela’s family created a GoFundMe to help the family offset some costs of losing their home here.
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