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Neighbors help family after fire destroys home, causes $500,000 in damages

Lightning suspected cause of fire

SAN ANTONIO – A Northeast Bexar County family has lost their dream home after a bolt of lightning during Monday night's storms sparked a fire.

The family, which includes two young children, is starting from scratch. But the neighborhood is stepping up.

Elizabeth Maestas has a shopping list of basic necessities: shoes, socks, a hat, glasses, phone chargers

She and her husband Jerry Maestas, and her 10- and 12-year-old children are facing a new reality as they stay with a neighbor two doors down from their destroyed dream home.

"This week we just put a basketball court in. The hoops not up yet, but that will have to wait," said Elizabeth Maestas.

A bolt of lightning struck the attic of the home in the 22100 block of Gypsy View around 9:15 p.m. Monday.

As smoke filled the home, the family and their pets got out. Unfortunately, firefighters got stuck when the community gate wouldn't open. It took them three hours to put out the fire neighbors said.

"It happened so quickly that nobody could do anything," said Elizabeth Maestas.

The heat was so intense that it cracked the windows on a nearby home. Neighbors even tried to extinguish the flames with garden hoses.

Damages are estimated at almost $500,000. Neighbors have welcome the Maestases into their homes and are helping them by providing necessities and raising money.

"Besides a neighborhood, we are a family. So when one suffers, everybody suffers," neighbor Alicia Silva said as she hugged Elizabeth Maestas.

"(I've) got my kids and my family with me, so those are the things I can't replace,"Jerry Maestas said.