West Allis duplex fire extends to another family, leaves them homeless

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by Matt Doyle

West Allis -- The tragic West Allis fire that killed two teenagers earlier this month extends beyond that upper duplex.  It also left the lower unit destroyed and that means a mother and her children are without a place to live and without all their belongings.

"I was able to save my dog and the puppies," Joanna Garcia said.  "That was it. There was no time."

No time to get anything out of the house. 

"Beds, dressers, washer and dryer, fridge, stove, table, silverware, dishes," Garcia said about what's gone.  "I mean [my] kid's clothes, shoes, all their school supplies, book bags, everything."

She and her three children lived there for three years.  She had just bought all new furniture for the house and planned to remodel.  To make matters worse, she doesn't have renter's insurance.

"I was not prepared for something like this whatsoever," Garcia said.

A fund is set up at Bank Mutual on South 27th Street in the name Garcia/Porter.  There's also a benefit Friday night from 8 until close at 1022 Pub-n-Grub on South 60th Street in West Allis. The benefit includes a silent auction and drink specials.

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