LITTLETON, Colo. — A Littleton couple is heartbroken after a fire Saturday night damaged most of their home, leaving the couple unable to host a birthday party for their 7-year-old granddaughter.
Like most 7-year-olds, Isabella was looking forward to her birthday -- and of course her party.
Cynthia Karnik, the girl's grandmother, said the girl would wake up each morning excited to count down how many days were left.
Cynthia and her husband, Richard Karnik, were looking forward to making Isabella's birthday special. But the day before her party plans changed.
"My granddaughter comes down and starts hollering, 'The house is on fire!'" Cynthia remembered.
The Karniks said a candle started the fire, and everyone got out, but within minutes, but the fire spread.
Life hasn't been easy for the Karniks lately. Richard has been in and out of the hospital for months, dealing with a list of medical issues, including having a cancerous tumor removed from his kidney.
Cynthia said the fire has been especially tough on her husband because he wanted nothing more than to give his granddaughter the birthday party she deserves.
"It's just heartbreaking because she is such a sweet thing," Cynthia said. "She's so considerate of everyone. Everyone comes before her."
The family is hoping to have Isabella's party next week. Richard said he hopes next year's birthday will be much better.
Isabella and her father also live in the house, along with two more grandchildren. They are staying with family and friends until they can move back in. The Karniks said that could take months.