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      Explosion leaves family homeless

      Wednesday night's trip to the grocery store may have been the best thing that ever happened to Juan and Eva Perales and their son and daughter.

      "I got off work (and) I met (my wife) at the store and when we came home, the fire department and police department were here, Juan Perales said.

      The fire was already out by the time we got here." Juan Perales said that about 15 minutes after his wife and two young children left this home, there was a fiery explosion which engulfed the entire trailer.

      The fire destroyed everything in its path, leaving the family with hardly anything to salvage.

      (I was crying) because I lost everything and my kids were scared but everything is fine, Eva Perales said.

      "As long as my kids and (my wife) are fine, we'll be fine," Juan Perales added.

      According to Cameron County fire investigators, a faulty electric socket sparked the fire.

      Emergency Manager Humberto Barrera said people need to have a certified electrician do all electric work at their homes.

      If people notice sparks coming out of a socket when they plug something in, he said, take it as a warning sign and call a professional to inspect the home.

      The mobile home is a complete loss and what we have is a displaced family, Barrera said. Any kind of fire, whether it's isolated to one room or the whole house, any fire is dangerous." Juan Perales said the fire also charred the nearly $5,000 in savings he had stashed away inside the home. He planned to use it as a down payment to purchase the home.

      "(We lost) memories, toys, all our clothes, everything that we could have inside the house, I mean TV's, Juan Perales said. But like I tell you, that all can be replaced and we'll make it happen." Juan and Eva Perales live at 33477 Paloma Drive off Pensylvania Avenue on the outskirts of San Benito.

      Anyone interested in donating clothing for the family is asked to donate the following items:

      Large in men TMs clothingMedium in women TMs clothingBoy TMs size 5-6Girl TMs size 5-6