Grandfather, grandchildren narrowly escape fire that destroyed home built by family

The Atascosa family is looking to rebuild, but are in need of a helping hand.

ATASCOSA, Texas — The community is rallying behind an Atascosa family after a fire destroyed their family home. An elderly man had to be rescued through a window, after neighbors came to help.  

The family is left sifting through the ashes of what’s left, wondering how they are going to rebuild.

The fire has left the family devastated after losing everything, but thankful their family and pets were able to make it out of the home safely.

“I said it’s on fire. We got to get out,” said Allissa Lopez.

Last Sunday morning, Lopez’s grandfather Ralph Chapa noticed smoke coming from the attic. Lopez and her grandpa tried to get out of the house, but Chapa fell down in his bedroom.

“I saw my sister come out and said ‘where’s grandpa?’ I’m like ‘he was behind me, isn’t he out here,'” said Lopez.

Alissa’s sister Katherine Baltazar, ran inside to find him.

“I didn’t even think twice about going back into the burning home,” said Baltazar.

Baltazar found her grandpa, lying in his room and unable to get up.

“I started yanking glass out the way and that’s when I cut my wrist, opened them up pretty badly,” said Baltazar.

Baltazar was not able to pick up her grandpa. She said she stuck her head out the window and screamed and neighbors rushed to help.

“Our neighbor came out and another neighbor came out from further away. He jumped fences into our yard to help him, so they were able to get him out,” said Baltazar.

Baltazar and her grandpa had to be taken to the hospital. Chapa was transferred to a burn unit and had carbon monoxide poisoning, requiring a breathing tube, he is going to be okay.

Fire officials said the fire started on the porch, and was likely started by the water heater. Several pets also had to be rescued from the burning home, which was completely gutted, destroying everything. The family is now left wondering, what’s next?

To help start rebuilding, the family has started a GoFundMe, which has already raised $3,642.  If you can help the family, you can click here.

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