HOUSTON – An 80-year-old grandmother died trying to escape fire in her Kashmere Gardens home, according to firefighters. Neighbors knew Rosie Salinas well.
They held each other close. Two brothers grieved. Suddenly, the lost their life-long support, the woman who raised them, the woman more than a dozen grandkids can’t believe is gone.
“I think we’re all in shock,” said Daniel Salinas, the victim’s grandson. “(We) can’t believe it happened this way. My grandmother was probably one of the most lively people you’ll ever meet.”
Often, Rosie Salinas met neighbors with gifts.
“She was very active,” said Roseann Delrio, a neighbor. “Every year we look forward to her Valentine baskets, her Easter baskets, she was very loved.”
“She loved giving gifts to everyone,” Daniel Salinas said. “She loved seeing people smile. We’re going to miss her a lot.”
Neighbors woke to smoke billowing from Salinas’ roof in the 4500 block of Octavia. Firefighters saw flames roaring out windows. They rushed to save Salinas. Instead, they found her body on the floor near the kitchen. Investigators think she collapsed trying to get out.
“They came and told me she didn’t have a chance to get out and I couldn’t believe it,” Delrio said.
“I know (Salinas’) son,” Mateo Gutierrez, a neighbor, said. “It’s a great loss. Right after the holidays, to lose a parent, it’s really hard.”
It is also hard for investigators to say what sparked the fire. Arson police are looking into it. Whatever they discover will not change reality for Salinas’ family. Their loss cannot be replaced.