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Fire victim fights to recover from burns on 60 percent of body

By KBell
March 3, 2011 at 9 p.m.
Updated March 2, 2011 at 9:03 p.m.


HOW TO HELPTo donate to the Martinez family, call the Crossroads Chapter of the American Red Cross at 361-573-2671, go to www.crossroads-redcross.org, or head to 2805 N. Navarro St., Suite 500.

Fighting the pain of third-degree burns covering 60 percent of his body, Andy Martinez III opened his eyes Thursday.

Martinez, 66, is in stable condition at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio after being trapped in a mobile home that caught fire Tuesday afternoon in the 400 block of Coleto Drive.

"He's a strong man. He's holding on," his daughter, Vera Martinez said. "It was good to see him open his eyes and respond, shake his head for a question or two."

Along with her mother, Mary, and her sister, Andrea, Vera said she's been with her father in San Antonio since the family first heard neighbors had pulled Martinez's body out of his burning home.

"He's fully awake," Vera, 40, said. "He can hear everything I'm saying, and I'll just hold conversation with him."

She said the family has been warned her father's condition could change rapidly and to be prepared for the worst.

On Friday, Martinez is supposed to undergo his first of what could be two-months worth of surgery, Vera said.

"It's just a day-by-day basis see how things go," she said.

With her parents' home a total loss, Vera said her mother and sister are staying at the hospital's Fisher House, which provides room and board to military families.

Vera called the men who pulled her father out the building heroes and re-emphasized the good things neighbors said about Martinez.

"He's just a good man," Vera said. "He'll do anything to help anyone out. He'll give his last dime."

On Thursday, Vera said she reminded her father of that and told him she knows he'll fight.

"He started shaking his head yes," Vera said.

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