Mercedes Home Declared Total Loss, Following Fire

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MERCEDES - Three people are recovering in the hospital following an early morning house fire in Mercedes on Friday. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The homeowner, Hector Rodriguez, told CHANNEL 5 NEWS his mother typically gets up around 5:30 a.m.  She followed her morning routine, only to find their home on the 12000 block of Meza Circle was overtaken by flames. We’re told that's when she rushed to wake her family.

Rodriguez said he woke up to find his home engulfed in flames. He told us by the time he started spraying water on the fire, with the help of his neighbors, it was too late. He said, “The house was already engulfed. We didn't have time to do anything. We could only call the fire department, and when they got here, everything was already burning."

 Mercedes, Weslaco, and Edcouch fire departments battled the blaze until it was out just past 8 a.m.

Hidalgo County Fire Marshal investigator John Franz said more could have been done if the fire was reported earlier. “Some of the family members are saying that it took the fire department a long time to respond. Upon our investigation and interviews, the woman who was inside the house called approximately 10 family members before one of them called 911,” he said. “We want to remind the public please contact 911 immediately."

Franz said the main goal during an emergency is to save lives, not inquire about immigration status or criminal history.

The home was declared a total loss. The homeowner said they’d recently remodeled their home. It was time, effort, and money gone in a matter of seconds. 

Rodriguez, his mother and son were taken to the hospital to treat smoke inhalation. The American Red Cross is currently working with the family of five. They are offering them a place to stay for the next few days in addition to immediate essentials. 

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