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Update: Teen killed in house fire in Jim Wells County

Alice Fire Department
Posted at 5:04 PM, Jan 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-03 23:44:18-05

UPDATE (2/3, 9:34 p.m.): By Eran Hami

The family has identified Ignacio Gomez as the teen killed in the home fire earlier in the week in Jim wells County.

Ignacio and five others were in a trailer home when it caught fire. The 18-year-old, who was in a wheelchair, did not make it out.

On Friday, his family returned to what remains of the home in the Tecolote Community, to go through the debris.

“We tried with cups and buckets, but it was just so strong. We couldn’t do it,” Bianca Matthews said recalling the day of the fire.

Matthews is a close friend of the Davila/Gomez family and a neighbor. Like her, many neighbors came running when they saw or heard about the fire on County Road 122.

“Jessie, her grandson, ran in, but when he ran in the flames came at him. He did actually get burned on his arm" Matthews said. "It was really painful standing there and knowing that you are standing there with your hands tied.”

Gomez's mother was watching on as family and neighbors began cleaning up, tears still falling down her face.

Alice Fire Department has only said it was an accidental fire, but does not have a cause yet.

Matthews said getting water was a problem, even with the family having two water tanks behind their home.

“It was so intense and the flames were so high they actually popped the tanks,” she said.

Matthews said the community was hurting for the family, but also because this could have happened to any one of them.

“We’re going to use this to try to put a positive light to change things and learn things, so this doesn’t have to happen again,” said Matthews.

She said that being in an isolated area, response time can be long and access to water is difficult. Matthews is hoping they can change both of those.

“We’re going to purpose that we get an emergency water tank out here because I know that was one of the things that we learned was really the main factor,” Matthews said.

Matthews has also organized a GoFundMe page for the family.

The Alice Fire Department responded to a residential fire in the Tecolote Community of Jim Wells County.

Crews are still on the scene due to heavy fire.

Officials confirm that an 18-year-old male has died due to the fire.

The Texas State Fire Marshal is investigating the fire, there is no further information is available at the time.

This is a developing story, check back with KRIS 6 News for more updates.