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Family rebuilds after deva­stating home fire

Family home destroyed in February fire

SAN ANTONIO - The Tenorio family have many blessings to be thankful for this holiday season after hundreds of volunteers helped them rebuild their home -- and rebuild their lives.

This past February, the Tenorio family's home was practically destroyed by a fire.

“I didn’t see any furniture. There was a hole in the roof (and) all the bedrooms were not there anymore,” said Norma, a single mother of four: two boys and two girls.

The Davila brothers -- Albert, an electrician, and Tony, a commercial builder -- led the way in getting the family back on their feet.

"(It) feels great, especially around this time of year," Tony Davila said.

After spending weeks in a shelter, the Tenorios were able to move back into a part of the house not completely destroyed. 

The living room served as a bedroom. A makeshift kitchen and a single bathroom had served five people.

"Whereever we were going, we were bumping into each other," said Jonathan, the oldest son.

Not only was there the stress of cramped quarters, but Jonathan, who is a senior and an honors student at Highlands High School, was considering dropping out to help his mom, who was working two jobs to keep up with the mortgage payments and the rest of the bills.

"That was my concern -- that he was going to drop out -- because at first he told me, ‘I am going to help you,’ and I didn't want him to. I wanted him to graduate," Norma said.

"I would have,” Jonathan said. "I am so glad I didn't."

While he stayed in school, the work was done. 

They boys' rooms in the back of the house were rebuilt. They used the old kitchen space as a new "man cave." The two girls' rooms and Norma’s room were also redone.

The makeshift kitchen in the front of the home will eventually be the permanent kitchen.

"I was surprised. I just didn't think it was going to happen. I really thought it would take a lot more time,” Jonathan said.

"I was so blessed," Norma said.


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