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Fire, Death, Shutdown: Irving family faces a rough January

IRVING, Texas — On Tuesday morning, Jill Mikienia spent the day salvaging what is left of her Sunnybrook Drive home.

It caught on fire Monday around 2:00 in the morning. Jill heard a pop as she was falling asleep. She got up and walked toward the sound, finding her garage on fire.

Mikienia called 911, dragged out two dogs and three cats, and helped her disabled husband to safety. But not everyone made it

“My son’s cat didn’t make it,” Mikienia said in tears. She was pet-sitting for her 23-year-old son who is deployed overseas with the Navy. The cat died from smoke inhalation.

“It almost seems like a failure. You know, I’m supposed to take care of his things while he was gone. And one of the most important things to him, I couldn’t save,” Mikienia said.

Their home is unlivable. Mikienia is searching for a temporary place that will take them in with their remaining pets.

And as the saying goes: When it rains, it pours.

Mikienia is also one of many people hurting from the government shutdown. She hasn’t been paid for six weeks.

“In the up and coming, my concerns, of course, are not only the house, but my concerns are food and having a place to stay,” Mikienia said.

She’s hoping things will starting turning up from here

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