Father unable to battle flames that destroyed uninsured Raymondville home.
Sat, 12 Jul 2014 03:47:32 GMT —
Cell phone video captures the blaze.
A 2-story home on 312 East Gem Avenue in Raymondville is fully engulfed in flames around 4pm on Friday.
The family of 4 who lives inside is away for just minutes when they arrive back home to see smoke.
My 14-year-old called 9-1-1, Antonio Arriaga said. I got the water hose and when inside to turn it off. It looked like the fire was coming out of the bathroom area. But I couldn't go in there was too much fire."
Tony refuses to give up.
There's too much on the line.
He says he cancelled the home's fire insurance just 6 months ago.
Everything they own is inside.
He tries to battle the flames again.
So I ran to the front, kicked in the door, but when I opened it, it threw me out," he explained.
His arms are slightly burned in the process.
A cavalry of volunteer firefighters from Raymondville and surrounding communities step in.
But the home is made of cedar, including the roof and floors.
The wood just feeds the flames as Chief Oscar Gutierrez explains.
They tried very hard, he said. It had a lot of fuel in it by the means of wood. It was a wooden structure home. With a little bit of wind and already fully engulfed, we weren't able to control it. Unfortunately, it burned down."
He's injured too.
"It took the skin off," Chief Gutierrez said.
He says his arm sustains first or second degree burns.
It's an exhaustive battle.
It TMs also an emotional one too, even for the American Red Cross, an emergency relief agency assisting the family.
Santa Garcia has known Tony since he was a toddler.
You feel something in your heart, the Red Cross volunteer said. It's like one of your own or yourself. You come and find out it's someone who you've known since he was 3 or 4 years old."
Even though the family is stripped of everything, Tony is thankful no one lost their lives.
"We're going to take it one day at a time," he said. We will rebuild.
Fire investigators are looking into the exact cause of the blaze.
Tony believes faulty electricity may be to blame.
The Arriaga TMs are staying a local hotel provided by the Red Cross.
They are in need of clothing and other donations to get back on their feet.
Anyone who would like to help the family can click on Ryan Wolf TMs Facebook page link below for contact information.