PLEASANTON, Texas — A Pleasanton mother is feeling hopeful after a wooden cross her late husband built survived a fire at the family's mobile home last Thursday afternoon.
Sierra Salazar was inside the house when she heard the smoke alarm sound off.
"We went and opened the side door and saw the porch on fire. My instinct is to get everybody out of the house. That was the first thing I did was got all of my family, the kids, my grandma, my mom out of the house safely," said Salazar.
Salazar admitted she went back inside to get her purse but said the smoke and heat were too much.
"I stopped and told myself I can't risk my life. The children, all they have is me, so I run back out of the house and get everyone across the street out of the property," she said.
Her 10-year-old daughter called 911 as they escaped. For four hours, Salazar said her family watched firefighters extinguish the flames.
"[It was] horrific. It was me watching everything that I have burn, everything my kids had, what my mom and grandma [had] going up in flames. It's the worst feeling ever," said Salazar.
Firefighters told her the fire likely started over a mechanical issue inside her car and then flames blew north towards the house. Salazar said she had just used the car to pick up her kids from the bus stop and had no trouble.
She also purchased it 3 months ago and used it to work as a nurse.
"We drove home and I parked where I always park and went inside. There was no issues that I could see from the car," she said.
Salazar's late husband used whatever money they had and bought the house two years before passing from terminal cancer in 2019. She said it was all they had left of him.
"He wanted his kids [to] have somewhere stable to live in and we weren't having to worry about having to pay rent after his passing."
While the house is a total loss, Salazar was in tears seeing the cross her late husband built was untouched by the fire.
"I just know that he was with us, his children. Him and the good Lord got us out safely," she said.
Family, friend and the community are helping the family move forward. Salazar said she has received generous donations from people in Atascosa, Wilson, McMullen and Bexar counties.
Beginning at 9 in the morning on Monday, donations will be accepted at the South Texas Regional Medical Center, next to the Methodist Hospital Atascosa in Jourdanton.
Monetary donations can also be made on Cash App: $Bestnurse2019