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Rockport community backs family that lost everything in house fire

Posted at 5:51 PM, Oct 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-14 18:51:25-04

ROCKPORT, Texas — On Tuesday, a Rockport family lost their home, but gained the support of their community.

The Tellez family lost their home to a fire, and now several people have stepped up to donate as they try to start over.

“We're still like in shock," Abraham Tellez said. "It’s like it’s a dream, but it’s (not). It’s real and like I tell my wife we’re going to get through this with all our kids we’re raising. And they were so sad, they don’t know what to think."

Immediately, friends and family have been bringing them necessities. Coastal Oaks Church has taken it upon themselves to help out, as well. They are collecting donations on behalf of the family.

Tellez and Kathryn Tristan lived at 1608 Sorensen Dr. with their five kids between the ages of 10 months old and 18 years old. The fire started when they weren't home, but their dog was.

A neighbor recalls what happened when she came outside to see black smoke everywhere.

“The first thing I did was ran out and tell a police officer lady," Katie Holt said. "I said there is a dog up there on the second floor and that’s where we always see it is outside on that balcony.”

Tellez has lived in the house for 24 years. Tristan has been living there the last eight years. The families have made many memories. Tellez and Tristan remember raising their two sons they had together there the most.

"My 4 year old, I told him that there’s no more house, that it’s gone. And he told me that he’s too small or he would go to work," Tristan said holding back tears.

Chealsey Welsch is Tellez's step-daughter. She grew up in the house until her mother, Jodi Welsch, passed away in 2013.

“Heartbreaking," she said. "To see it, sum it up and watch it kind of burn down to the ground. Something that I think not very many people experience. I think the shock of it all, people underestimate, it’s very emotional."

Welsch hasn't been to the house since her mother passed. So, she hopes the community can help out in one other way.

“I would hope and I’m praying that the people there in Rockport, if there’s anyone there that has pictures of my grandparents (Vivian Welsch) or my mother it would be greatly appreciated if I could at least make copies of those," Welsch said. "I unfortunately don’t have anything because I’ve been moving for my job.”

Welsch said her sister Olivia Tellez has also created a GoFundMe Page to help out the family.

If you'd like to help out and donate through the church, Coastal Oaks Church will be open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you'd like to donate online you can on their website. They ask that you be sure to include "Tellez Family" in the memo.