MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A Miami-Dade County Corrections officer whose family lost everything in a fire is receiving some help getting back on his feet.
Flames ripped through Cesar Bautista’s home on Dec. 30, just five days after Christmas.
“I never would’ve thought in a million years that we would have a fire in our home, and it happened,” Bautista said. “So that was a learning experience, and very humbling experience.”
Bautista and his wife, teenage daughter, mother-in-law and brother-in-law were all left without a place to live.
They lost belongings, clothes, food…everything, all because of an electrical fire.
“It was devastating,” Bautista said. “What really kept me going was the support from everyone.”
Support from his colleagues at the Miami Dade County Corrections Department and other law enforcement agencies who gathered Tuesday to do what they could to help the family financially.
“We’re here to say you’re not in it alone. You’re not fighting alone. You have 3,000 brothers and sisters here,” said Miami-Dade Corrections Director Daniel Junior. “We want to present you with just a small token of our appreciation.”
$1,000 to help the Bautista family try to replace what they’ve lost.
Officer Bautista was also given a replacement five-year pin, a commemorative item he earned two years ago that was lost in the fire.
“We learned that material things don’t mean anything,” Bautista said. “It’s really when we all come together, and we have each other as you see, and that’s really what matters the most.”