Fire claims Jourdanton home



Firefighters work to contain the flames at the structure fire on Brown and Olive St. last Tuesday night. JACK GARCIA

Firefighters work to contain the flames at the structure fire on Brown and Olive St. last Tuesday night. JACK GARCIA

Last Tuesday night, the home of Doris Martinez and John Caballero of Jourdanton was engulfed in flames. The couple, along with their three children – ages 11, 12 and 14 – barely made it out of the house. Their home, unfortunately, did not survive the fire and the family lost everything they owned.

“I’m just glad everyone is okay and that we all made it out safely. That’s all that matters. Everything we lost in the fire is replaceable, but my family isn’t,” said Caballero. The family is currently living with Caballero’s parents. “Just the feeling of having to start all over again is overwhelming, but we will get back to where we were.”

Repo, the family’s Rottweiler pup, is believed to have been lost in the fire as well. Firefighters and the family looked everywhere, but could not find the pup’s body anywhere in the remnants of the fire.

“We had him for only a week, but we were attached to him already. After I made sure everyone was out safely, I went back in to look for him, but couldn’t find him” said Caballero, who believes the pup ran to hide somewhere in the wake of the fire.

Repo, the family’s Rottweiler pup, is believed to have not survived the fire. COURTESY PHOTO

Repo, the family’s Rottweiler pup, is believed to have not survived the fire. COURTESY PHOTO

Jourdanton and Pleasanton Volunteer Fire Departments along with the Jourdanton Police Department and Atascosa County Sheriff’s Office were all on the scene of the fire that took place on Brown and Olive St. in Jourdanton that night.

“When we first arrived, about 50 percent of the home was involved with the fire that was driven by the south wind we experienced that night” said Jourdanton Fire Chief Jay Fojtik, who also explained firefighters had to pull the ceiling down to get into the attic to check if the fire spread upward. “The house was a complete loss after the flames were put out due to smoke and water damage.”

The fire investigation was handed over to Atascosa County Fire Marshal, Roger Garcia who stated there was no definitive answer to why or how the fire started, but is led to believe it was due to the water heater.

“Having walked the scene and looking at the damage, I could assess the initial start of the fire to be in the water heater area,” said Garcia. “Most likely ventilation issues were at hand. The tin roof on the house also made for the cause of the fire spreading. Fire usually goes upward, but when it has nowhere to go, it goes sideways, and that was definitely the case in this particular situation as well.”

The family of five have been showered with love, support and donations in just the one week since the fire took their home. The children returned to school this past Monday with clothes that will last them to the end of the school year, according to the parents.

“We are just extremely grateful and appreciative of all the support the community has shown us. I am just overwhelmed at the community we live in and how quickly they are to jump in and help anyone in need,” said Martinez. She stated aside from all they have received so far, John lost all of his tools and her daughter lost all of her hair necessities such as a hair straightener, etc. The only other thing the family asks is if someone is willing to donate the use of heavy equipment or their time to help knock down and clean up the remains of what used to be their home.

A Pay It Forward account has been set up for the family on Facebook called “Pay It Forwad – Scattering Kindness” by Sue King Johnson and Chelle Miller to raise money for the family and to also collect any donations. You may contact Chelle at 830-200-7674 if you would like to donate. You may also contact Doris Martinez directly at 210-328-3809 for donations.

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