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      Community rallies to help elderly couple left homeless by fire

      A Rio Grande Valley community is rallying behind an elderly couple who lost everything when their home was struck by lightning Friday night.

      Raul and Martha Vera's home went up in flames as soon it was struck.

      The 89-year-old WWII veteran escaped unharmed, but his wife, 78-year-old Martha was caught inside the home when the roof collapsed on top of her.

      With burns covering 50 percent of her body, Martha had to be transported to San Antonio for medical attention.

      "He's between a rock and a hard place and his wife was the anchor of the family, family friend David Garza said. Without her he's lost. We're just here to help."

      Garza and Irma Agueros are doing all they can to help the elderly couple, by collecting clothing, food and raising money so Raul can be with his wife in San Antonio as she recovers.

      "We just felt compelled to help this gentleman," Garza said.

      Martha is expected to recover but with no insurance money to rebuild what was lost, in their golden years they will be starting over.

      "They are starting from square one again. It TMs going to be hard for them, Agueros said. We just want to keep him well so when she comes back he will be able to care for her because it was the other way around before, she took care of him."

      If you would like to help you can donate to the Raul Vera Donation account at Texas National Bank in Mercedes.