Oakland couple loses everything after home burns down in fire

An Oakland couple are starting from scratch after losing everything in a fire.

Their cottage was a casualty of the fire that erupted on September 16th, off of Interstate 580 near 35th ave.  It destroyed one home and damaged several others.

For the last three years, Imran Naim and Eevie Ruiz lived in the now burned-out cottage and learned it was gone while they were at work.

"I was kind of in disbelief and it just definitely didn’t feel real for a moment," said Naim.

Two years ago a fire in the same spot narrowly missed their cottage, but this time they weren’t so lucky.  Not only did the fire completely destroy their home, but also everything inside.   

"Besides what we were wearing that day to work and what we brought to work, everything is pretty much gone," said Ruiz.

The blow hit harder when their cat died from injuries sustained in the fire.

They’ve been crashing at a friend's place while out apartment hunting. They’re learning with the high cost of Bay Area rents, they can no longer replicate the cottage oasis they had for $1850 a month.

"The price was great, the space was great, we had like our own little miniature house," said Ruiz.  "He had room for his music stuff.  I had room for my art supplies. It was great."

"No, can’t really replicate it right now, so we just got to move on to something new."

Making matters worse, they had no renters insurance.

"You just never expect places to burn down, but now I know that totally happens," said Naim.

"Yes, yeah, that was probably like a big lesson learned, for sure," said Ruiz with a light-hearted laugh.

What they do have is each other, after getting engaged a month ago.

"He’s been so supportive, and we’ve just been like supporting each other emotionally," said Ruiz.

While maintaining good spirits, they joke their next move will be easy once they find a new place since they basically only have each other.

The fire may have stripped them of their possessions, but it’s also given them some life lessons they say they’ll carry forward as their two lives eventually become one in marriage.

"I lost everything and I’m still having good days after that, so it’s like you didn’t really need those things to feel the happiness that you thought you needed," said Naim. 

"We just learned you don’t need that much to survive and just each other and we have our health and we weren’t hurt," said Ruiz.

The couple has a gofundme account to help rebuild their lives.