Harlingen South Hawks Family of 9 Loses Home During Basketball Game

Clothing sizes needed

Harlingen South senior Chryselda Rodriguez was on fire Tuesday night, scoring a game high 18 points for the Lady Hawks basketball team.

Unfortunately, her home for the past 13 years, was too.

Still "numb" from the shock, her mother Belinda Serna sifted through the rubble and ashes Wednesday - managing to salvage one of Chryselda's basketball posters.

However, there wasn't much else left intact.

"(There were a) little bit of clothes that was left, so we can wash it up and have something for the kids to go to school in."

Serna lived at the home on Rangerville Road with her four children, and was also letting her sister-in-law live there with her 3 children.

On the coldest night of this winter season, all nine were left without a roof over their head.

"I didn't even believe it - you see it happen on the news to everybody else and you think, like it will never happen to you, but it happens," Serna said.

Cameron County Emergency Manager Humberto Barrera said a space heater, placed too close to the bed, ignited the sheets.

It's a story, all too common.

"It's a very dangerous thing, and that's why when you buy a space heater, it's really important that you follow those directions," Barrera said. "You want to put that space heater 3-4 feet away from anything."

It's a total loss for the family, but among the destruction, an act of courage makes Serna smile and be thankful.

Her 13-year-old son Jeremy instantly turned into a hero. He rescued two little girls, ages 4 and 5, from a burning room.

"He's my baby, he's my little firefighter," a proud Serna said. "I told him 'now you have it in you, so you gotta do it.'"

If you would like to help the families, please call 990-3676.