Mrs. Claus loses family home in Brandon, donations burn

Posted at 6:01 PM, Nov 14, 2016

A Brandon family known for its holiday-themed home lost everything in a fire over the weekend.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue responded to a structure fire on Sailfish Drive on November 12 just before noon. 

Fire investigators say the fire moved quickly through the home and it took 45 minutes to get control of the fire. The house has been deemed a total loss. 

"Somehow the house caught fire," Yolanda Camara said. "We believe it was a Christmas tree."

This house isn't just any house, it is known as Mrs. Claus' home in the Brandon neighborhood and that's why decorations were already up. 

The family collects toys as early as June, and begins decorating their home in September. 

(courtesy: Yolanda Camara)

"I have an elf, and I am Mrs. Claus," said Camara.

Camara went on to explain that every year kids in the neighborhood bring letters for Santa by putting them in her mailbox. On Christmas Eve, each child in the area receives a present from Santa himself. 

The Camara family also donates toys to different charities in the area for the holidays. 

This video was posted to Facebook last year:




On top of taking care of kids in her area, the family also opens their home for Thanksgiving to nearly 100 people, including friends, family and neighbors. 

"Everybody comes here, so it is hard to not have that stability," she said.

Camara said she is dedicated to finding a home in the area to continue their holiday tradition.

There were two minor injuries at the home on Saturday as two family members tried to help the family move a boat and jet ski trailer. 

To share a video on Facebook about Camara, go here.