SOUTH OGDEN, Utah (ABC4) – A Weber County family was left devasted after their home went up in flames. According to South Ogden city officials, it happened Saturday morning at 5300 South and 765 East.

Fire crews were able to knock the fire down, and everyone made it out. Unfortunately, 2 dogs didn’t and were a casualty of the house fire.

Both Benjamin and Apri Castillo were at work not far away when they got the news.”

I was driving like a madman, all I could think about were my kids, just please god protect my babies” says Benjamin.

It was Lisa Angulo, Apri’s mother, who also lives at the home that was there when the fire started and alerted the Castillo’s what was happening. She said she needed to act fast to get just over a dozen kids which included Castillo’s children as well as some of Apri’s siblings out of the burning home.

“I had the teenagers get the babies, then we did a headcount,” says Angulo. She even went back inside the home engulfed in flames to grab her young granddaughter sleeping downstairs.

Apri Castillo recalls a mad dash leaving work to get home “we could see the smoke from our job it was just really intense you just really don’t know.”

South Ogden city officials say the fire is still being investigated, the family telling ABC4 they believe the sparks may have started near the patio and then spread inside the home. Fire crews arrived and worked quickly to get the flames out, at this time the damage is being described as extensive and it’s not currently livable.

Two dogs, a German Shepard and a boxer unfortunately did not make it out of the home. At one point Angulo says she could hear the German Shepard barking as if it was trying to alert them that something was wrong. The couple says they’ve only lived in the home for about a year and a half, now there is nothing left but rubble and memories.

“The reality hits you and everything you ever worked hard for is gone, there’s nothing left,” an emotional Apri Castillo explained.

That’s why community members and people from their church are stepping up to help. On a social media thread, Bree Moreno and Sara Gorostieta are coordinating donations in the form of clothing for the kids, diapers, food, and other necessities for the Castillo family. 

“They are a close family who have a heart to not only serve in the church but the community, so we wanted to show them the same type of love they’ve shown to the community,” says Moreno.

There are also several Venmo accounts in which those who are interested to make a donation.

In the meantime, a place to live remains uncertain, “we don’t really have many answers right now, kind of just going day by day,” says Benjamin Castillo.

Despite the gut-wrenching loss of a home and two pets, they are trying to stay positive, Apri Castillo expressed her current emotions as taking things day-by-day and hoping they can find a new home soon.

“Knowing that I don’t depend on my own strength, but god is my strength and if I lean on him, he will make all things possible,” Castillo tells ABC4.

Officials with the Utah division of the American Red Cross say they are working to help with finding shelter, and lodging among other immediate needs. This unfortunate incident comes as the Red Cross is holding its annual Fire Prevention Week.

Spokesperson Keith Paul says people only have about two minutes to escape a fire in many cases. He says they encourage Utahns to create an escape plan in case the worse happens and to practice it often.