Maryland

‘Baffling': Family Homeless Again After Surviving 3rd Fire in 5 Years

A Maryland woman and her family are homeless for a third time in just five years after surviving a massive apartment fire in Prince George's County, Maryland.

On Tuesday morning, Tonya Hale, her father, daughter and two sons ran from their apartment in Hillcrest Heights when they heard someone yelling. They got out just moments before flames engulfed the apartment building.

"I walked out seeing, like, smoke everywhere and then fire. It was like big flames and stuff. It was scary," said Aja Hale, Tonya Hale's daughter.

For the Hales, it was history repeating itself.

"It's baffling. I can't get over it. Like, why?"

On Dec. 19, 2012, Tonya's house burned down in Capitol Heights, Maryland. Firefighters brought toys for her children at Christmas.

She then moved her family in with her mother. That house also burned down.

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Then Tuesday, Dec. 19, another fire left her and her family homeless for a third time.

Tonya, while saddened by the latest fire, couldn't help but laugh at the coincidence.

"I have to [laugh]. I cannot get down right now. It's enough in the world and my life and our lives period. I just lost my job last month. For this to happen now, what am I supposed to do? I can't cry. I have to keep moving. I have a family to support and get us to the next place," she said.

Although they lost nearly everything less than a week before Christmas, the Hale family feels blessed that they all made it out safely.

"I don't look for the presents. I look just to be with family, friends, being around loved ones," Hale said.

The Red Cross has given the family money for food, shelter and clothing.

Five people were injured and a total of 32 people were left homeless in the fire.

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