U.S — A week after a fire claimed the lives of a family of five in the city’s northeast, members of the community gathered at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church on Saturday morning to pray for the victims’ souls. One individual made it out alive.
“We’ve lost one whole generation but generations of our family,” Angela Reyes said, referring to the loss of her sister, nieces, and nephew. Five members of the Valadez family were killed: 50-year-old Felicia, 29-year-old Sylvia, 12-year-old Gabriel, 10-year-old Lillie, and 6-year-old Isabella.
Fernando Valdez, Reyes’s father, has been recuperating in the hospital with his wife by his side. According to the San Antonio Fire Department, the blaze that broke out in the garage at 3 a.m. on July 22 spread throughout the home due to the smoke it generated. Slowly, they’re bringing him out, and they’re getting ready to tell him what he’s lost, as Reyes put it.
Prayers and songs were offered for the victims who had lost their lives in the tragedy. Ben Cardenas went to the funeral mass to show his respects to Fernando and the rest of the Valadez family. You can trust Fernando. Like myself and several of our other members, he was a Vietnam War veteran,” Cardenas added. As the old saying goes, “It’s a tough one for us, but we’ll get through it with the prayer and be there for the family.”
Reyes attributes her hope for the future to her firm belief in God. During this difficult time, she has thanked the community and the hospital personnel for their support. God sees, God feels our suffering. And because he sees the whole picture, I think this is how things are supposed to be for us, and in that knowledge we can take solace. “We’ll come to our church family and our family for comfort,” Reyes said. The Valadez family has set up a GoFundMe campaign with the goal of raising $500,000.