Burned out family in Poteet struggles to rebuild

Mother with special needs child known for helping others

By Jessie Degollado - Reporter, Adam B. Higgins - Photojournalist

POTEET, Texas - A whiff of smoke late Saturday afternoon alerted Linda Alvarado Fuentes to something much bigger.

Fuentes said she wondered: “Did I leave something on in the kitchen?”

Moments later, smoke was pouring out of one of her home's bedrooms, apparently from an electrical short in an air conditioner, filling the house and forcing Fuentes, her boyfriend and her daughter with special needs to get out as quickly as they could.

Fuentes said they’ve lost everything since the home was undergoing construction and was uninsured.

Fuentes is a popular barber in Poteet and is known for her generosity for others and her love for the city.

“She’s always rallying around somebody who needs help,” said Donovan Garcia, her neighbor. “She makes these fantastic floats for the Strawberry Festival parade.”

Garcia said her generosity is the reason why the community “wants to do what we can just to get them back on their feet.”

An anonymous donor has provided the family a recreational vehicle so they can stay on their beloved ranch while they try to rebuild.

Fuentes said she’s grateful to those who’ve offered them places to stay.

But, she said, right now, she feels a loyalty to the land that has been their home.

“I don’t want to leave it. It’s been good to us,” Fuentes said.

Copyright 2019 by KSAT - All rights reserved.