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Residents flee as trailer home burns near Bloomington (Video)

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
March 30, 2012 at 10:05 p.m.
Updated March 29, 2012 at 10:30 p.m.

A mobile home trailer caught fire  Friday afternoon in the rear of a home in the 1100 block of FM 1432.

TO ASSIST THE CHAVEZ FAMILY

Contact the American Red Cross Crossroads chapter at 361-573-2671

Shoe and clothing donations accepted, contact Red Cross before giving.

Angie Chavez, shirt size - M,L; 12 pants, shoes, size 6

Willie Chavez, shirt size - M; Pants, 36 waist, 31 long; shoes, size 9.

Sitting in a plastic lawn chair outside her trailer home, Angie Chavez buried her head in both hands and sobbed.

Her trailer home, located in the 1100 block of Farm-to-Market Road 1432 in Bloomington, caught fire at 4:13 p.m. Friday.

As the flames spread and destroyed the back side of her home, Chavez wiped the tears from her eyes and stared blankly at the firefighters aiming water at the flames.

"We don't have nowhere to go," she said. "And all my medicines I need for my Hepatitis C and my shots are in there."

Before the fire engulfed her kitchen, Chavez said she was frying onions in a pan. Then she heard a loud pop. Moments later, her mobile home caught fire, and she watched as smoke plumes filled the kitchen.

"I had just taken some medication and I was starting to nod off," the 57-year-old Bloomington resident, said. "I thought it was my onions popping."

Chavez and her husband, Willie Chavez, live in the residence together. Willie was not in the home when it caught fire.

For the past three years, the couple has lived rent-free in the home, which is owned by John Anderson, the homeowner of a main house located on ranch land at the same address.

The couple works the ranch for Anderson, cutting grass and tending to the animals, Chavez said.

Chavez's brother-in-law, Pedro Gutierrez, who was in the main house when the home caught fire, was the first to witness the the smoke and ran to the trailer to alert his sister-in-law.

"She was about to take a nap on the couch when it caught fire," said Chavez's sister Aurora Gutierrez, who also witnessed the fire start.

Anderson, who declined to be interviewed, said the trailer home did not have insurance.

No other structures were damaged in the fire.

Victoria Fire Department Battalion Chief Shannon Martin said the area of the home that caught fire appeared to be an addition to the original trailer. Though some areas of the home were undamaged, the structure was unlivable, Martin said.

The American Red Cross Crossroads chapter is assisting the couple.

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