NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – A family of nine, including four children ranging from age 8 to 19, is without their home after a fire destroyed it Saturday night.
The fire broke out at Yolanda Lopez's home in the 100 block of Meadow Crest.
"My four kids were in the house with their uncle while I was on my way to the store," Lopez said. "My son called me, but he didn't tell me about the fire right away."
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She said she later learned that her son knew exactly what to do to save his family.
"He ran to get his little sister who was asleep in my room and then he got the rest out of the home," Lopez said. "Thankfully he knew what to do. We are all good, thank God."
All of the family's pets made it out safely except a small kitten. Lopez believes the fire either started from an AC unit in her bedroom or from sparks from a utility pole wire.
"I didn't see the fire start," Lopez said. "I just saw black smoke. Then when I came, I couldn't see my daughter and I was calling out for my baby and everyone kept saying she was fine, but I couldn't find where she was. I just had this horrible pain. Thankfully she was with a neighbor."
Lopez said everything happened so fast that they couldn't save anything in the house.
"My daughter came out with no shoes, so she didn't even have a pair of shoes to wear," Lopez said.
Lopez, who is a waitress at a local restaurant, is well-loved in the community. Everyone is trying to pitch in to help.
"People that I don't even know came by to tell me everything is going to be fine and giving things to my family," Lopez said. "They dropped off school supplies also."
"We are all just trying to help out as much as we can," said family friend and past co-worker Melyssa Martinez. "These kids need things especially with school starting tomorrow. Everything is gone but we are trying to change that. Yolanda is a very strong woman and she has helped everyone out more than words can say. That is why we are here for her."
The family said the American Red Cross is also trying to help the family. They said they are currently staying at another family member's home for now.
"Everything happens for a reason, but I was asking myself ‘Why me? Why my parents' house?' Only god knows why he does what he does. You can get through anything and we will make it through."
As of right now, the fire is still under investigation.