Family jumps out living room window to escape fire

State Fire Marshal set to investigate cause

Courtesy: Louis Gutierrez Jr.
Courtesy: Louis Gutierrez Jr.

PLEASANTON, Texas – The state Fire Marshal is due soon in Atascosa County to investigate the cause of a fast-moving house fire that forced a young family to jump out their living room window.

Valeria Gonzalez, 22, said her husband, Santos Ray, awoke to the smell of smoke about 4 a.m. Wednesday.

She said they were sleeping with their 2-year-old daughter Raylynn in the living room because it was air-conditioned.

Gonzalez said she believes the fire somehow started in their back bedroom.

She said thick smoke quickly prevented them from reaching the door.

"So we went back to the living room and then we were trapped by the fire," Gonzalez said.

She said that's when her husband smashed the living room window with his bare hands as the flames drew closer, then helped her and their child climb out.

"She was with me. I had her the whole time," Gonzalez said. "I had her in my arms when I jumped out."

Gonzalez said she suffered deep gashes on her leg and arm from the shards of glass in the window, but her little girl only had a minor laceration to her lower back.

She said her husband, who already is disabled by a bad hip, also had cuts to his hands and burns to his back.

Gonzalez, who is now in a wheelchair, said doctors have told her to stay off her injured leg.

But as a comfort aide at Pleasanton Heights Nursing Home, Gonzalez said she's run out of sick leave so she'll have no income while she recuperates.

Since they lost everything in the fire, Gonzalez said her administrator and co-workers have organized a donation drive.

She said, "I want to thank everybody for trying to help me."

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