DES MOINES, Iowa -- A south Des Moines family is without a home on Friday and working to pick up the pieces after an electrical fire.
The Phipps family has lived in a mobile unit in the 2800 block of SE 14th Street for 30 years. All that stands of their home now is a burned façade.
“My boss said there was a fire, so I called my husband and he said we lost everything," Lucy Phipps said.
Their two pet birds died in the fire, but they still have each other and a few charred keepsakes after a fire destroyed the unit. The family was saving money to move, but now they don’t have a choice.
“I mean we wanted to get a house, but not like this," Phipps said.
Investigators say a space heater plugged into an outlet sparked the fire, and the unit burned quickly.
“Trailer homes are very combustible, so once they get going, they burn pretty quick. So they’re lucky they got out when they did," said Steve Brown of the Des Moines Fire Department.
The Phippses are thankful everyone is alive, but they worry about where they are going to sleep.
“Probably a place to live, that's what we need the most," Phipps said.
The American Red Cross says it can’t give the family a new home, but is assisting with their recovery.
“Offered some services to us and gave me a card I could use maybe to stay someplace and buy clothes and food things we need," Phipps said.
Despite the devastation the Phippses are trying to stay positive.
“I guess this is the year for moving on. I moved on from one job, now I guess we are moving someplace else," Phipps said.
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