Debra Arguedas, Fort Pierce resident, loses everything to wildfire

FORT PIERCE, Fla.-- Debra Arguedas didn't sleep at her Heather Way apartment Sunday night. In fact, she didn't sleep at all.

"It's just been too much," she admitted.

Friends took in Arguedas and her 5-year-old son Ryan, after the two were evacuated. Forestry officials say the Arguedas' unit was the worst-hit.

"You can't go in there," she said, of the damage. "You lost everything."

Arguedas returned for the first time Monday morning. The damage to her roof is obvious from the outside, but inside, the destruction is even more clear.

"That's all my stuff," she said, pointing to her bed, piled with planks that had fallen from the ceiling.

The fire left a gaping hole in her roof, with structural debris spread all over her and her son's belongings.

"We still smell like smoke, my son smells like smoke," said Arguedas.

She's one of nine units damaged at three separate apartment complexes along Indrio Road, including the Acreage and Indian Pines. Damage control at the Heather Way Apartments is on hold, while management waits for insurance adjustors.

Arguedas is staying in another apartment with her son, as of Monday. They are two of four total apartment residents that are being assisted by the American Red Cross.

In the meantime, Arguedas sent her son to school Monday, for him to avoid seeing the worst. She hopes to shield him as long as possible from the truth: that most of what they own is useless.

"Since we left with nothing, we really have nothing."

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