SAN ANTONIO – Sisters Cynthia Valadez and Audrey Alexander said they’re holding on to each other to find strength in moving forward without five of their family members.
Five members of the Valadez-Morales family died following a house fire in the 11600 block of Winding Oak Drive on the North Side on July 22.
The victims included Felicia Valadez, 50; Slyvia Valadez Morales, 29; Gabriel Valadez, 12; Lillie Valadez, 10; and Isabella Morales, 6.
“I loved all of them so much,” Valadez said. “You can choose to remember this one incident that is life-changing or you can choose to remember the blessing that is just to know these people and that we are a part of them and they are a part of us.”
One survivor of the fire, Fernando Valadez, is still recovering in the hospital after smoke inhalation.
“None of it feels real,” Alexander said. “Family has always been important. Through good and bad, we’ve always been a tight family.”
Valadez and Alexander have saved dozens of drawings, photos and items from their five lost family members.
Alexander said she’s found peace in knowing what an impact her family had in the community.
“It’s comforting to know the impact that each one of them had on people,” Alexander said.