Home of Brownsville veteran destroyed in fire

2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago Wednesday, March 08 2023 Mar 8, 2023 March 08, 2023 9:38 PM March 08, 2023 in News - Local

A Brownsville veteran is facing a new battle after his family lost everything in a house fire.

Albert Martinez said he vividly remembers the moment his home caught fire last Sunday.

He said he was getting ready to shower when he heard crackling coming from outside the door.

“I opened the door from the bathroom to the hallway, and as I opened that door the flames and heavy thick smoke just engulfed me right there,” Martinez said.

Martinez was alone in the house, with no smoke detectors to alert him to what was happening.

He said he had to act fast to get out

“I managed to kick the AC out of there, and I broke the window, so I [could] jump out,” Martinez said.

Martinez’s wife — Gabriela — was visiting family when the fire happened, and she came back to a shell of her home.

“I really don't care about the house,” Gabriela said. “As soon as I saw him, I was relived."

All their clothes, belongings and the home they shared for the past 34 years — gone in a matter of minutes.

“It's painful of course, all of our memories are in there and my children — [who] are going through a hard time — you know this is their place, this was their rock."

Martinez is a U.S. Army veteran. For him, helping others has always been a way of life.

The family is currently living in an RV that a relative is loaning.

Because of the extent of the fire damage, the Cameron County fire marshal ruled the cause of the fire as undetermined.

Those wanting to help can do so online. 

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