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Single mom is asking for community’s help after her restaurant burned down in Oceano

Single mom is asking for community’s help after her restaurant burned down in Oceano.
Posted at 7:43 PM, May 17, 2023

Rosalba Rodriguez is trying to make sense of what happened to her business Los Tamales Poblanos in Oceano.

“It was everything we had,” said Rodriguez in Spanish.

Her refrigerator, freezer, grill, and ice maker were all lost in the flames. Her 14-year-old son Antonio Hernandez is her rock right now.

“We gotta support her during times like these because she's a single mother helping me and my little brother all by herself, and it's a really big struggle for her,” said Hernandez.

Last Friday around 1:30 a.m., firefighters responded to a blaze on the 1700 block of Front St.

“Fire units arrived, confirmed that the building was fully involved with fire based on some structural integrity issues,” said Chief Steve Lieberman with the Five Cities Fire Authority. “A decision was made to do what's called a defensive attack. ”

No injuries were reported, but the restaurant was a total loss.

“The investigation is still underway," said Chief Lieberman. “Based on initial reports, we have nothing that tells us it was suspicious in nature; our investigators are still working on a cause. ”

This commercial building served as an industrial kitchen to prep food items such as salsas, ceviches and tamales to later sell at different farmer’s markets.

Rodriguez said she sees it but she can’t believe that this is what's left of her kitchen that’s been operating for 16 years.

“This was a place where we would come and cook and make and have a way to make money and survive of off,” said Hernandez.

Rodriguez said her kids keep her going. She also said she has insurance, but they also have a GoFundMe to help with immediate expenses.

To view the fundraiser, click here.

The plan is to get back to cooking as soon as possible.

“Find a new kitchen and get back to work again,” said Hernandez.

KSBY News spoke to Judkins Middle School’s counselor Jami Wozniak who said the school is working with the family. They are also collecting gas and grocery gift cards for them.