HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – A mother and her two children were killed early Wednesday in a fire at their mobile home.
Firefighters responded to the blaze in the 100 block of Cherry Laurel Street in Huffman around 4 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Fire officials said the father was taken to the hospital with injuries. Neighbors have identified the man as David Tienda and his wife as Natalie Tienda.
Longtime neighbor David Belken says he awoke to screams at around 4:30 a.m., then rushed outside to help.
“When I jumped up, I saw orange right outside the window,” Belken said. “So I knew, flames. So I ran outside and saw the trailer and (David Tienda). I ran over there and immediately started looking for a way in and a way out.”
The two men broke all of the windows in the trailer trying to get inside, but they were unable to see through the smoke and flames.
“There was still the back room that still had a window left,” Belken said. “I busted that out and by that time all the smoke had rolled out and I tried to peek my head in, but there was too much black smoke and carbon monoxide to even try to go in to look around real quick.”
Belken says David Tienda told him the family had recently purchased two new space heaters.
David Tienda was still in the hospital being treated for burns and injuries he sustained while trying to save his trapped family, according to fire officials.
“It sounds like the parents tried to get everyone out, but unfortunately, three of them didn’t make it,” said Dean Hensley, Harris County Fire Marshall’s Office chief investigator. “And the father did manage to escape, but he did have injuries, it sounds like from trying to rescue his family.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but the sheriff says this is a reminder to be extra careful with space heaters during our chilly weather.