Fire leaves family, 5-year-old boy with cerebral palsy without home
Blaze destroyed nearly everything, including equipment needed to care for child
SAN ANTONIO – A family of seven was in tears as they watched firefighters try to save their home in far South Bexar County.
"Lost everything in the house. We have what we have on our back and our feet,” said homeowner Julian Billfranco.
Billafranco said he was heading to work with his dad and brother around 11 a.m. Saturday when he got a frantic call from his wife.
"We made it to 1604 -- it’s about 5 minutes away. She called me crying, ‘Come back, it’s an emergency.’ I couldn’t really hear what was going on with all the commotion. When we got back I saw smoke and all I could do was think about the wife and kids. Get in the house, get everybody out,” said Billafranco.
Fortunately, all five children, ages 5 to 17, made it safely out of the home. However, they were unable to get any of their belongings out -- belongings like much needed equipment for their youngest son Malaki, who has cerebral palsy.
“He’s a special needs kid. He’s in a wheelchair. He has C.P. so he can’t grab and hold things and walk. So we lost all his wheelchairs and machinery,” Billafranco said.
They were able to find one walker outside the home, but it was singed from the flames.
The home is considered a total loss. The family said fire investigators told them the fire was a result of an electrical malfunction.
Despite their loss, the family said they are grateful to still have each other.
"I’m glad everybody made it out safe,” Billafranco said.
The family said they hope to one day rebuild their home. In the meantime, the Red Cross will be providing the family of seven with temporary housing.
If you would like to help the Billafranco family, you can email that at Julianjudy4344@gmail.com
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