RICARDO, Texas — A house fire in Ricardo early Friday morning has left a family homeless.
“Like I told my wife, we got to get out, there’s a fire somewhere,” the homeowner, Eric Diamond, told KRIS 6 News.
The fire call was received by the Kleberg County Volunteer Fire Department at about 4:45 a.m. Operations Chief Leo Jauregui said three adults and a child all escaped without injuries.
“They were able to make it out safely, but they were the ones who called 911 about smelling the smoke and were able to get out before anything happened," said Jauregui.
Diamond said his wife smelled the smoke and that's when, with just their pajamas on, he got his 3-year-old son and mother-in-law out of the house, on one of the coldest nights of the year, yet.
“My wife picked him up and put him in the car and it’s like we’ve got to go," said Diamond. "He was in shock and he’s worried about his toys.”
Th fire chief said the home is a total loss.
“It’s hard, it’s hard to explain," said Diamond. "It’s like basically seeing your whole life, everything you built go up. I’m just glad that everybody made it out.”
Diamond said he thought a space heater blew a fuse in his son’s room early in the night, but thought nothing of it.
“Alright, it’s not coming on, I'll just deal with that in the morning," he said. "So I'm thinking rats or something up in the attic had chewed one of the wires to that room.”
The family apparently does not have insurance, leading to the creation of a relief drive to help them.
"We will be setting something up with the Kingsville Fire Marshal's office to get them clothes and food," Jauregui said. "Especially during this cold time."
Diamond's wife, Martha, works at Quality Care Medical Center in Kingsville. When her coworkers heard of the fire, they started reaching out to businesses and people to get a fundraiser going.
“Huge response as far as monetary donations and personal belongings and donations of clothes and food," said Jerin Bryant, PA-C and owner of Quality Care Medical Center. "We’re just so thankful for everything our community has done.”
Bryant confirmed that someone has even donated a home for the family. They just need the resources to clear out their property and move it to their lot.
Quality Care Medical Center is accepting monetary donations, as well as shoes and clothes to help the family get back on their feet. You can bring your donations by during any of their business hours. On their Facebook page, the business mentions that Martha's sister is also collecting monetary donations through CashApp. You can send them to $MARITATI76.
Fire units from Kleberg County, Nueces County Emergency Service District 1 and 3, the Kingsville Fire Department and Naval Air Station Kingsville helped battle the blaze.
The fire department suspects it was an electrical fire, but Jauregui says the cause is still under investigation.