An Alton father and son are recovering from severe burns after being caught in a fire. The fire killed two family members and a third person.
Lucila Jimenez, a neighbor said, “There was a lot of smoke in there. You couldn’t see anything. There was fire. We heard some explosions. We could just here pop pop…. And then a big one.”
That is how Lucila Jimenez recalls the fire at her neighbor’s home in Alton that took the lives of three people early Sunday morning.
The victims were 37-year-old Maria Maldonado, her five year-old son Gustavo Maldonado, and 15-year-old Johnathan Palomarez who was a family friend from La Feria.
The husband and their 11-year-old son suffered severe burns in the blaze. They are being treated in a hospital in San Antonio.
Their 15-year-old daughter and the twin brother of the five year old who died were taken to a local hospital for minor treatment. Jimenez and her husband played a huge role on saving as many lives as possible from the blaze.
“We ran all the way over there. When we got there, we saw the dad. He was already out. He pulled out his son, Nestor Jr. He wasn’t breathing. He passed him to my husband. When he came out of the house, i guess he felt the freshness and the air. He took a gasp and started breathing again.” said Jimenez.
Family members said they did everything they could to save more lives.
“My niece was able to take out her little brother through the window. She said she could hear her mom screaming, but she couldn’t help her.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Neighbors like Lucila says this fire, although devastating to her and her family, has made them realize the importance of fire safety around the house.
The Alton community is stepping in and raising money to help the family with funeral expenses and other donations for the survivors.