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Jesses G. Sanchez Teacher of the Year losses home after Green Street fire

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV)- A 4th-grade teacher at Jesses G. Sanchez Elementary School lost everything in a house fire Friday on Green Street.

Marisela Perez Mendoza was at home with her mother when a fire broke out in her garage. She was able to escape with the help of a friend and was only able to grab some of her mother's medication.

She says it's all still shocking, and she has not been back to school since the fire began. The support of the community and the Alisal Union School District have helped ease a devastating time in her life.

Mendoza says she lived at home with her mother, son, and brother. She is grateful that her other brother has allowed her to stay with him while she sorts out her living situation.

Mendoza says the insurance she receives sounds promising at the moment, but she needs assistance until she knows if she will receive help.

She is a bilingual teacher and President of the Salinas National Little League. In 2022, Mendoza won JGS Teacher of the Year and was a Monterey County Teacher of the Year Nominee.

Marisela Perez Mendoza receiving her JGS Teacher of the Year award.

Those of you who know Marisela, know that she is an unfailingly kind and selfless person who is devoted to uplifting her community where she is committed to the Salinas National Little League where she puts in long hours for the children East Salinas as their president. She has also been a dedicated teacher in the Alisal Union School District for over 20 years. These are just some of the examples of how East Salinas is a better place because of her. All of you l, I’m sure, can remember a time where she was there for you.

Friends describing what Marisela Mendoza is like.

Friends have started a gofundme to help Mendoza land back on her feet. You can donate here.

Two homes damaged during two-alarm fire in Salinas

Salinas Fire responded Friday afternoon to reports of a structure fire on the 1100 block of Green Street.

Firefighters said active flames were seen in a home and spread to an adjacent home when they arrived. Flames heavily damaged the garage, and the attic also appeared severely damaged. Damage to the other structure was left on the side of the home.

Firefighters said the four occupants made it safely outside the home, but a few birds inside the living facilities were found deceased. Currently, Salinas Fire is unsure what the cause of the fire was and where the fire originated.

The fire was put out after an eight-engine response. Salinas Fire said Green Street should reopen shortly.

The home with side damage was deemed habitable. The four occupants of the home with garage damage were displaced and connected with the Red Cross.

Salinas Fire said that there were some homes that lost power, but they are unsure if this is due to the fire. There was a broken powerline found near the burning homes.

This is an ongoing investigation.

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