DES MOINES, Iowa — A Des Moines family of seven is facing homelessness after smoke tore through their home last week.
A bedroom in the Mahad family’s home went up in flames, leaving the house severely smoke damaged. The family, which includes five children, is now essentially homeless. Due to the economic impact of the pandemic, there is a chance they may never go back.
The Mahad family has set up a GoFundMe page to accept donations. To donate to the family through the GoFundMe, click here.
Zakaria Mahad is still trying to make sense of the fire that has devastated his family. The fire was on the second floor of the home where his five children’s bedrooms are. “Everything is gone,” said Mahad. “The kids’ clothes, school supplies, everything. They don’t have a place to stay. I just hope for the best.”
Both Mahad and his wife lost their jobs from the pandemic and haven’t landed back on their feet yet. “This is a very scary moment and it’s difficult when you have a family as big as mine,” said Mahad. “We’re just homeless. We have no place to stay.”
Now after the fire, they are not sure how they will be able to come up with the money for the tens of thousands of dollars in repairs. It’s especially difficult because they had just lost their home insurance in February after repeatedly not being able to afford it.
“Losing a job and me not keeping up with my bill and lost everything. That can happen to anybody,” Mahad said.
However, something that happened during the fire is reminding them of what they did not lose.
“My son was supposed to be upstairs,” Mahad said. “I thought he was dead. The fire was so thick. I couldn’t even go upstairs to help him. Next thing I know my son came out of the corner and said ‘Daddy, I’m here, I’m here.’ Thank God.”
Mahad said his 4-year-old son felt compelled to go play outside before the fire started. He and his wife believe an angel saved his life. “A miracle happened and God brought him outside,” Mahad said.
Although the road ahead is an uncertain and scary one, the Mahads are just thankful to have each other.
“There is nothing bigger than having all of my family alive and still with me. Everything is replaceable except for life, and I’m glad I have everyone,” said Mahad.
The Des Moines Fire Department is still investigating the exact cause of the fire.