55ºF

Donations pour in for family that lost everything in apartment fire

Arson team investigating cause

SAN ANTONIO – Donations are pouring in for a struggling family that recently became homeless after a fire ripped through their San Antonio Housing Authority apartment home just west of downtown.

Eneida Arriaga and her family were surprised again, but unlike the Friday fire, this surprise was much more pleasant.

“I was heartbroken,” Arriaga said of the fire.

Arriaga’s Alazan Apache apartment home on Vera Cruz was completely destroyed, including the few Christmas presents the family could afford. After the family shared its story, fellow San Antonians have come forward to help.

Greg McDevitt showed up to the hotel where the family is staying to make a donation through his company, Zendo Renovations.

“I think if more people would reach out to help people who need it more than they do, then I think that we could start to change the world,” McDevitt said.

Employees at Jugo Juicery felt the same way.

“It’s a fulfillment in our heart, so we came together and agreed that all cash tips will be given out,” said Amber Deno, an employee at Jugo Juicery.

The store’s owner matched the employees’ donations, and the team was able to present the family with a $500 check, a gift card to H-E-B and toys for Arriaga’s two young children.

A father and son who refused recognition replaced an Xbox that was supposed to be a Christmas present but was turned to soot. They also bought several games and toiletries for the family.

“I really haven't had people help me out with too much, so with losing everything like that, it shows there’s still good people out there,” said Nikolas McCraw, Arriaga's husband.

The family said the Red Cross has paid for them to stay in the hotel through the weekend. It said SAHA will provide them with another apartment, and they hope to move in on Monday.

As for what caused the fire, the arson team is still investigating. 


About the Author:

Deven Clarke

Deven Clarke was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he developed a passion for journalism after being asked to fill in as a sports anchor for the university's student-run news program.