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Renter seeks help after house fire

CHAMPAIGN -- A family whose house was seriously damaged in an electrical fire Monday say they cannot afford to rent a new home because their landlord refuses to return their deposit or refund the remainder of January’s rent.

Trinidad Morales’ family – which includes her husband, 2-year-old daughter, pregnant sister, brother-in-law, and 1-year-old nephew –is now sleeping in a friend’s living room. Morales’s other two daughters were visiting their sick grandmother in Mexico when the fire occurred and cannot return to Champaign until the family finds a new place to live.

The News-Gazette/Trinidad Morales, 25, stands inside her house Thursday afternoon that was damaged by smoke and water after a fire at the three-bedrom rental house in Champaign on Monday. Morales and her family are struggling to find a new place to live as the landlord has yet to refund any rent or deposit money.

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