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Merrimack Valley

April 4, 2013

'My home could have been saved'

Hancock Street fire victim speaks about Saturday's fast-moving fire in Lawrence


Unaware of the water issues in the neighborhood, Caraballo said she became frustrated with firefighters. “I was yelling at them, asking them what they were doing. I was screaming ‘Put the water on my house.’ I was begging them,” she said.

“I stood there, looking at my own home. I could see the flames coming out my bedroom windows,” she said.

Fortunately, before fire engulfed her home, Caraballo was able to grab her purse with her cell phone inside. Having her personal documents and ID as well as her cell phone has been invaluable, she said.

Early Sunday morning, Caraballo went back to her home. Firefighters were there, hosing off a room where the fire had rekindled. Then, she had an opportunity to talk to crews about the water issues and how the fire spread.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation. Caraballo paid $159,999 for the home and still owes $131,000. “I’m going to walk away with nothing,” she said.

Above all, Caraballo said she is homesick and desperately “wants to go home.”

”But I don’t have a home,” she said. “I would never want anybody else to experience this type of pain.”

Caraballo asked that anyone who can help her with housing for her family to call her at 978-606-5145.

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter under the screenname EagleTribJill.

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