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East Bakersfield night market supports family who lost everything in a house fire

Family says they're grateful to be alive and have support from the community
Posted at 11:36 AM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 15:17:37-04

EAST BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The organizers of the East Bakersfield night market says they're using their platform to help a family in Ensenada, Baja California who lost their home in a house fire.

  • Video shows the aftermath of the Ensenada house fire
  • On May 2, in Ensenada, Baja California, Jessica Valdes woke up in her home engulfed in flames and filled with smoke.
  • When they lost everything in the blaze, Valdes reached out to Adriana Mercado, the founder of the night market for support.

When the sunsets, this area of land becomes the East Bakersfield night market, a highly anticipated event in the community, and the organizers are using that platform to help others in need.
This lively atmosphere at the East Bakersfield night market is now providing support to a family in their most solemn moments.

“We were all sleeping,” Jessica Valdes said.

On May 2, in Ensenada, Baja California, Valdes woke up in her home engulfed in flames and filled with smoke.

“[The firefighters] said the fire was really interesting," she said. "I don't know if this is the truth, but they said it was spiraling, and the flames were getting ready to spread in every direction."

Forced to escape through the window because of the damage and smoke on the first floor, Valdes tells me she left behind the home she lived in for 25 years, the place where her kids were born and where she got to know God.

“It doesn't hurt. It doesn't hurt because I am grateful. After all, when I looked out the window to take out my mom, my kids were outside. So really, I didn't lose anything, I won. I won the opportunity to live," Valdes said.

She says her sister lives in Bakersfield and is one of the vendors at the East Bakersfield night market.

When they lost everything in the blaze, she reached out to Adriana Mercado, the founder of the night market for support.

“I got the story behind what actually, and it was kind of scary for me because of how it happened,” Mercado tells me.

Mercado says she’s partnered with her father-in-law’s foundation to serve people in Mexico, and this time was no different.

“Why don’t we use our platform since we have so many people on there and see if people are willing to help us,” she says.

Mercado tells me it feels good to see the East Bakersfield night market extend its impact internationally to benefit others, and Valdes emphasizes how grateful she is to see the community offer assistance as they rebuild.

“Wow. Even the people in their economic conditions, small, medium or big, they've opened their hand to help us," Valdes said.

If you’re interested in helping the Valdes family, you can reach out to the East Bakersfield night market on their Instagram page.

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