BROWNWOOD, Texas - A fire that destroyed a home Monday night was caused by a mattress falling onto an open-faced heater, Brownwood Fire Marshal Buddy Preston confirmed Tuesday.
The fire broke out in the back bedroom of the house located on the 1900 block of 7th Street and Avenue K, leaving 6 people without a home.
"The house is a total loss," Preston said. "Anything that wasn't burnt was damaged by water or smoke."
Camille Barrera lived at the house with her boyfriend and their three kids, as well as her cousin.
"It's the first excitement we've had in awhile and I didn't want to see that kind of excitement," neighbor Olen Franks said. "We were worried somebody might be trapped in the house."
Thankfully no one was injured.
"That was my main concern, that everybody got out ok. That was it. I mean, all this, this can be replaced. You know, memories--they can't be taken away. My babies--they're fine, that's all that matters," home owner and Camille's mom Lupe said.
Although the family is holding up well, the loss is still hard on them.
"I grew up in this house and then my parents gave it to me...my childhood's here," Camille said.
"I'm just devastated and heartbroken...you know, all the memories we have here...I raised my two girls here, and this was the house that all the kids would come to," Lupe said.
They said they are grateful to have each other and the community's support.
"A lot of people have already came forward and donated some clothes, which has helped a lot," Camille said.
"It hasn't even been 24 hours yet and there's just been a lot of outpour of support," Lupe said.
They said clothes and diapers are the main necessities, but any help is greatly appreciated.
Chili's and some fitness centers in the area will be holding fundraisers for the family. Donations can also be taken to 1611 2nd Street, where the family is currently staying with a relative.
- Big Country 100 Men Who Care gives away another $10,000
- Abilene woman reunited with sister after travel ban struck down
- Man in custody after four-hour standoff in north Abilene
- John Lackey commemorative billboard to serve multiple purposes
- Recycling, parking, discussed at special Abilene City Council meeting