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Family who lost everything in fire gets help from strangers

Katie Crowther

Family who lost everything in fire gets help from strangers

By Katie Crowther. CREATED Feb 21, 2012

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- A local family is lucky to be alive after fire raged through their apartment. Now, complete strangers are stepping-up to help.

The blaze started around 6:15 Tuesday morning, Feb. 21, in an apartment on Katie Avenue, near Maryland Parkway and Flamingo Road.

The single mother and two children who live there lost nearly all of their belongings in the fire. Action News was there as they surveyed the damage.

"It's hard to take, because we lost everything," Carilon Cloutier says in tears. "But at least, my children are okay."

As flames engulfed their balcony -- Carilon, her 16-year-old son and two-year-old daughter -- had no idea they were in danger.

Their neighbor, Tim Roman, noticed the fire and ran to their apartment.

"I started knocking on everyone's door in the area, from downstairs to upstairs," he says. "By the time everyone got out, they were all safe. Frantic, but safe."

"I told my son there's fire, just get your sister and get out right away," Carilon describes.

Carilon is counting her blessings that Tim was there, to help them make it out alive. But seeing the fire's aftermath and what little she has left is hard to bear.

"It's terrible," she says. "It's just too much. All that's salvageable is a small pile of clothes."

Seeing Carilon in such despair, struck a nerve with other families.

"It just really touched me as a parent," says Lisette Davila. "To see the emotions that came out. The fact that she lost everything."

Lisette and her son immediately began setting aside some of their own clothes to give Carilon and her children. They plan to start a donation drive for more.

That help from strangers, in her darkest hour, is something Carillon never expected.

"I did not think that people would be calling me, trying to reach me, to help me," she says. "I'm very thankful for them."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Carilon believes it started in a storage closet, where the heater is.

According to investigators, two other adults were displaced by the fire.

If you would like to help, you can contact the Southern Nevada Chapter of the American Red Cross at (702) 369-3674.