Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Las Cruces gathers around the family after the house fire on Christmas morning

LAS CRUCES – The Las Cruces community gathers around a family who lost everything in a house fire early Christmas morning.

Akeem Washington, 33, and Amanda Lopez-Granado, 32, spent Christmas Eve with their family and arrived home at around 12:45 p.m. Saturday with their four children, including a two-month-old, in a smoky front yard on their three floors at home in the Las Colinas district.

“At first it was a strange smell when we got out of the car, I thought it was the car,” said Lopez-Granado. “The front yard was hazy like a fog machine. The smell got stronger when we unlocked the front door and opened it, it was a white cloud. I didn’t think the fire was spreading in the house, but when we opened the door, the oxygen was feeding she.”

A fire broke through a house on Tiger Eye in Las Cruces early Christmas morning 2021.  Image taken on December 26, 2021.

Lopez-Granado said her 14-year-old son, Lenny Washington, a freshman on the Organ Mountain basketball team, called 911. The family also includes two other boys aged 11 and 5 and their little sister. The family was unharmed.

Although the Las Cruces fire department and Las Cruces police were on site within five minutes, the house was totaled.

More:Don’t throw your Christmas tree in the trash: recycle it!

“It could have been a lot worse,” said Lopez-Granado. “We usually come home early to get ready for Santa Claus.

“It’s overwhelming. You watch how your house is on fire and you feel alone and super helpless, how am I supposed to get back to normal and why does that happen at Christmas? “

Organ Mountain has opened a Venmo account. There is a Go Fund Me campaign and a Facebook group to support the family.

Lopez-Granado said the family currently resides with Akeem Washington’s mother.

“The LCPD was the first to show up and the officers tried to use a fire extinguisher,” she said. “But it didn’t work and we evacuated the house. Within 20 minutes the house was full of flames and black smoke. It took about an hour to completely erase it. The investigator finished the investigation around 7:00 am and said it, “came from our bedroom (on the third floor) and they thought one of those outlets was shorted.”

Lopez-Granado said the house on Tiger Eye Drive was her dream home and they have lived there for six years.

There have been several social media efforts to help the family in the days since the fire, including saving a Christmas party for the kids.

Organ Mountain Basketball is played by Lenny Washington.

“Our neighbors posted on Facebook and everyone asked what we needed,” said Lopez-Granado. “It was constant. One of the firefighters brought a suitcase full of clothes and everyone showed up.

More:Rudolfo Anaya, father of Chicano literature, wove bilingual Christmas stories for children

Organ Mountain basketball coach Rocky Gonzales hopes Lenny Washington, a promising security guard on the college roster, can use basketball as therapy after a harsh winter that also saw his grandmother die in early December.

“He’s a good boy, an A and B student and something like every coach’s dream,” said Gonzales. “He’s a good kid and it’s a great family.”

Jason Groves can be reached at [email protected] or @JPGroves on Twitter.

Comments are closed.