Update for November 20, 2014
Family loses home, all possessions in weekend fire at Creekwood
By Diane Cosgrove
A family movie came to an abrupt stop Friday night as the Garcia family discovered flames outside their home in Creekwood Subdivision.
Juliana Garcia told the Anvil Herald Wednesday that she and her husband, Roy, were enjoying a kids’ cartoon feature with four of their five children when one of their sons said there was a fire outside the house. Roy sprang up and ran outside to investigate, then Juliana called 911.
She said the dispatcher had some difficulty understanding her, (Juliana was on a cell phone) and she had to repeat herself several times in order to get the dispatcher to understand what was going on.
Meanwhile, Roy was doing his best to extinguish the fire – which began at the family’s garage – with a garden hose, but it continued to grow, involving the entire structure then igniting the home. He shouted to his wife to get the children out of the home and to safety.
The youngest, a one-year-old, was asleep in his bed, and when Juliana ran in the room, she saw smoke inside. She said when she reached in to pick up her son, she could feel the heat of the fire coming through the wall next to his bed. Shortly after, the blaze was in the room.
Still on the phone with the dispatcher, she pleaded, “Please send somebody!” as she was herding her children to the family vehicle. She said she drove up into the neighbor’s yard to get the kids away from the fire. Neighbors were rushing over to help Roy battle the blaze which now engulfed their home.
“There was nothing we could do,” said Juliana. “We just stood there crying, frustrated, yelling, “Where’s the fire department?”
Neighbors also called 911, and were assured the fire department was on its way.
“People in the neighborhood were trying to help in any way they could,” she continued. “It’s frustrating; it’s heartbreaking. It could have only been a couple of minutes, but in those couple of minutes, that fire spread so quickly. You’re wanting help and it seems like an eternity.”
As their home burned down, her husband had attempted to save some of their possessions, but was told by a sheriff’s deputy to stay out of the structure because it was unsafe to enter.
Medina County Fire Marshal Keith Lutz said the home is a total loss and believes the fire will be ruled an accident. Five fire companies from Hondo, Castroville, D’Hanis, La Coste and Natalia answered the call to fight the inferno.
Juliana said the family was renting the home, with plans to purchase it in the near future, and they did not have renter’s insurance. While she lamented the fact that they lost everything they’ve accumulated over the 12 years they’ve been married, including trophies and awards their children have earned over the years, the family is grateful that none of them were injured in the blaze.
“We’re not from here,” Juliana said, noting that she and Roy have been amazed at the generosity of their neighbors and others, Juliana said Wednesday. Total strangers have reached out to them and offered help, donating clothes and in some cases, gift cards, to help the family of seven rebuild their lives.
“Once word got out that we lost our home, we’ve gotten a lot of help and support,” Juliana said. “People pray for us. Yes, it is sad that we lost our personal belongings and material possessions, but I think the thing that helps me and my husband is that people who don’t know us – have never met us before – from Hondo, Castroville, and the small towns around here, have been very generous. They’ve helped us in any way they can, even if it’s just a hug, a handshake or with words of encouragement like, ‘Things will get better,’ ‘Keep your faith,’ and ‘We’ll be praying for you.’
“People don’t realize how much that helps. It’s been hard, but it’s also been a tremendous blessing that people are willing to help in any way they can. We couldn’t be more appreciative,” she added.
Roy is a coach at John Jay High School, while Juliana is a stay-at-home mom to their five boys: Roy, age 12; David, 11; Dominic, 9; Lorenzo, 3 and Julian, 1.
A benefit account has been set up for the family at Woodforest Bank.
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