97-Year-Old Donna Man Looks to Rebuild Home Destroyed by Fire

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DONNA –A 97-year-old Donna man is trying to rebuild after his home burned down. His extended family said they were also impacted by what happened.

A Donna Fire Department spokesman said the fire at Jose Leos' home was reported early Friday morning. Now Leos, his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are homeless. 
 
Leos lived in the home for 55 years. He said it's where he raised a family and where he stayed with his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

He is still shaken over watching it all go up in flames. Leos said his 29-year-old grandson carried him out of the house before the fire could overtake his room.

He said his oldest son is providing him and other family members a place to live after the fire.

Leos said he wants an affordable way to bring back the home where he has spent so much of his life.

"The only thing I want is to repair my house. Because it's my house," he said.

CHANNEL FIVE NEWS did some digging to find what organization could assist Leos. A Habitat for Humanity spokesperson in the Rio Grande Valley said, because he has a need, her group can help.

"What he can do is apply for our new construction program. What we would do is we would build him a new home. He would have to go call our office and make an application to go through the process to be selected," said Febe Cepeda with Habitat for Humanity Rio Grande Valley.

Cepeda added the organization would need the proper partners and funding to go forward with taking down the old house and rebuilding a new one. If it were to be built, she said Leos would have to pay a new mortgage to Habitat.

"It's a zero percent mortgage, but it is at a price he can afford," she said.

Cepeda said the new mortgage payment would include insurance. She said Habitat for Humanity would not be able to tell Leos if it can take on the project until next spring.

    
Leos' family members said they already picked up a Habitat for Humanity application for the house to be rebuilt. They will drop it off tomorrow.

If you would like to apply for a home to be restored, reach out to Habitat for Humanity. The McAllen office for Habitat for Humanity is located at 412 Ash Avenue in McAllen. You can also contact them by phone number at 956-686-7455. 

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