Officer Timothy Sawicki was dispatched to the residence of Yolanda and Edward Benavides on January 31 at 8:46 p.m. for a structure fire in progress.
According to County Fire Marshal Todd Perna, the fire was determined to have started in a corner bedroom. When Officer Sawicki arrived at 914 Marion in Jourdanton, there were family members from adjacent homes trying to extinguish the fire. However the heat and smoke was too great to allow them to get close enough to do so.
Jourdanton Volunteer Fire Department and County Fire Marshal, Todd Perna, arrived shortly after.
Edward Benavides was transported to STRMC and treated by medical personnel for smoke inhalation, chest pains and minor burns but his wife, Yolanda Benavides, 68, died in the fire.
Family stated that attempts were made to get Yolanda from the house but the smoke was too much to bear. Two of Yolandas children were also treated for smoke inhalation after trying to save their mother from the fire.
Mrs. Benavides was transported to the Bexar County Medical Examiners office in San Antonio.
Upon request of the Jourdanton Police Chief, Eric Kaiser, an investigation took place led by County Fire Marshal, Todd Perna.
Working several hours after the blaze was put out and continuing the following day, Fire Marshal Perna and his team ruled the fire to be accidental.