Somali refugee family living in Milwaukee loses everything in devastating fire

NOW: Somali refugee family living in Milwaukee loses everything in devastating fire

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58)- A family of Somali refugees living in Milwaukee have been displaced and without a home after a devastating fire caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.

After moving from Somalia as refugees, Nadiro Ahmed and her seven children were so excited to finally have a home in America, until just a week later when a fire destroyed everything they had worked so hard for.

 “We lost the house, just like that,” said Ahmed.

Ahmed held back tears talking about the home she was finally able to buy for her family after moving to the U.S. in 2016 because of the Somali Civil War.

“All my children were very glad to get the house you know,” she said. “Everybody has a dream.”

“We were so happy to have a house here so we can call it our own house,” said Abdi Hassen, Ahmed’s son.

The family bought the home un-renovated, and said it was considered uninsurable. Still, they spent all their money working to fix it up.

“When we go to work, every paycheck we got we put in here and we take a loan too,” adds Hassen.

The Milwaukee Fire Department says they responded to the family’s home on February 20th, just one week after they moved in. The fire started upstairs, and while the cause is still undetermined, MFD says the home had just gotten new electrical put in.

“When we saw the fire, it was very big,” Ahmed said.

“It was all destroyed so it’s not a good feeling, we are all sad,” adds Hassen.

The family is thankful no one was hurt, but lost everything. Ahmed tried to get another loan to fix the home, but was denied.  

”He said we cannot get an increase to fix your house,” said Ahmed.

Ahmed’s older daughters are married and each have their own home, so for now the family is staying with them, but are split between two homes.

Still, they’re holding out hope that one day they can live in a home they can call their own.

 “We need to move back to renting,” said Hassen. “It’s like starting again you know from the beginning.”  

Ahmed is asking the community to help her with funds to repair her home.  Anybody with construction skills willing to help with repairs can also donate their time. For more information, CLICK HERE.  

Share this article: