SAN ANTONIO – Alfredo Hernandez survived the flames that consumed his South Side home on Tuesday but did not survive his injuries related to smoke inhalation, he died Tuesday evening.
Hernandez, a lifelong resident of San Antonio, had just celebrated his 73rd birthday in February.
His granddaughter, Valerie Nicole Booth, who lives in Dallas, said his family had the opportunity to celebrate with him via FaceTime.
“We remember face timing him this year on his birthday and he was so surprised my dad got him a cake, when my dad came back with the cake, my grandpa’s face lit up and he was super excited,” Booth said.
Hernandez was a janitor on the South Side for 25 years and was very proud of his work and was married to the love of his life.
“He was a humble man above all else, he was married to the love of his life for 35 years,” Booth said. “Our grandma passed away in 2007 due to cancer.”
Hernandez, who was wheelchair-bound, was battling several health issues that caused both of his legs to be amputated. Booth said fire teams were able to find him in his wheelchair and get him out of the building through the back of his home.
“So, you know, he stayed here at home all day while my dad was at work and he was in his room just watching TV, but he didn’t have access like most of us would when you smell a fire or you see a fire and so he was in his room and that’s where the firefighters found him whenever they came,” Booth said.
Hernandez was taken to Brooke Army Medical Center and treated for smoke inhalation, but he died that evening. Booth said Hernandez did not have homeowner’s insurance and didn’t have life insurance.
“There was no life insurance, there was no homeowner’s insurance and so our family is just now having to rebuild everything that they can and pick up the pieces where they can with what they have left,” Booth said.
The family asking for any help possible as they are confronted with the unexpected costs associated with funeral arrangements.
“It’s you know, what are our options? What is the lowest price? Do you need the prayer cards? And if you do, then how much extra is that,” Booth said.