Family homeless again after fire destroys new home

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) – Two days before Christmas, flames forced a family of eight out of their Kalamazoo home.

The mother told 24 Hour News 8 that they had just overcome homelessness.

The fire happened around 2:15 p.m. Sunday in the 800 block of Simpson Street. Everyone made it out safe, but pain lingers as the family scrambles to find housing.

"I understand it's nobody else's responsibility, but it hurts," said Nitra Blake, the mother of six now searching for a home. "I just came from that and I thought I was a little bit up." 

In the daylight, the fire damage and bright orange “condemned" sign stick out on Simpson Street, but the charred aftermath doesn't fully tell Blake's story of perseverance  

"I'm right back. Four months later, I'm right back (to homelessness)," Blake told 24 Hour News 8.

She was homeless for a year, she explained. Her family often made crowded hotel rooms their home.

Landing their rental property was a true gift.

"I would've been happy in my house. If I only had a piece of bread to eat, I would've been happy. (The kids) would've been happy," she said.

Blake and her boyfriend lived at the house with their six kids.

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