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Denver7 viewers help families devastated by Lakewood pipe burst

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Posted at 10:23 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 19:20:15-04

Editor's note: Contact7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at contact7@thedenverchannel.com or call (720) 462-7777. Find more Contact7 stories here.

LAKEWOOD and AURORA, Colo. – Two families can’t thank Denver7 viewers enough after you dug into your pockets and donated to pay rent for families who lost nearly everything when a city pipe burst.

Back in February, a city of Lakewood pipe burst, flooding several apartments at a complex on Depew Street. Contact7 reached out to the city multiple times, but Isaac Rodriguez and Tiya Trent say they never received help from the city.

Rodriguez, a husband and father of two, shared his story with Denver7. He says more then a foot of water covered his apartment, ruining their property and forcing his family out. The family moved four times with the little money they had, and people donated money to the Contact7 Gives General Fund to keep them afloat until American Property Solutions, which runs the apartment complex that flooded, could relocate families.

On Wednesday, Denver7 presented Rodriguez with a check to help pay his rent after losing nearly all of his property.

“I appreciate it for anyone that definitely donated,” he said. “It takes a lot to not only have compassion for something that is in this position, but it takes a lot to give to try to make that situation better.”

Rodriguez’s neighbor, Tiya Trent, stayed in her apartment after the flood because she couldn’t afford to move. Big industrial fans were in every room to help dry the apartment. She gave Contact7 a tour, and through tears, described the pain and loss of everything she worked hard to purchase to furnish her home.

On Wednesday, Trent showed us her apartment in Aurora. This time, Trent shed tears of joy when Contact7 presented her with a check to pay her rent, all money donated by viewers who saw her story.

“This is amazing,“ she said. “Oh, thank you.” “The main thing is to rent…I am not like worried about where that is going to come from [now].”

She says the check will help relieve some stress, as she deals with a recent job loss and continues to help students left out of school due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“Like one crisis after the other,” she said.

While it’s been difficult, both families say the generosity of the community when they needed them most gives them hope for the future.