HUFFMAN, Texas (FOX 26) - The Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating a house fire that left a mother and her two young children dead Wednesday morning in Huffman. It happened around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday on Cherry Laurel Street.
Natalie Tienda, 33, was killed in the fire along with her children—Keanna, 11, and Tristan, 9—according to Natalie's mom, Belinda Ewing, who spoke with FOX 26 by phone while en route to visit her daughter's husband in the hospital.
Natalie’s husband was hospitalized with first- and second-degree burn injuries and smoke inhalation from the fire, according to the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office.
“He had a bunch of cuts on him,” Peggy Joy Gallardo, the family’s next door neighbor. “And he’s got a broken heart.”
Gallardo says she was awakened early this morning by Natalie’s husband.
“The father was yelling for help,” said Gallardo. “That’s it. ‘Can y’all help me? Can you help me? I can’t get to ‘em?’ And he was trying to bust all the windows out, trying to get to them, and he couldn’t get to them.”
“(Fire) was coming out all the windows,” said Daniel Benken who also lives next door. “The whole trailer was in flames.”
Benken rushed to help while Gallardo called 911.
“I ran around the house,” said Benken. “There was still one window available to bust out in the very back of the trailer, and I busted it out, screamed for their names, and no one came to me.”
Huffman Fire Department responded to the rural Harris County home.
“It took them probably a good 30, 35 minutes to respond,” said Benken. “By the time they got here and started putting it out, that’s when the roof started collapsing in the middle.”
Gallardo says the family’s oldest son, who is in his early teens, happened to be in the hospital at the time and survived the fire, while his younger siblings did not.
“I’ve known them since they were born,” said Gallardo. “The people that died were very nice, and they were Christians, and they didn’t deserve this.”
Gallardo says the family was having issues with their breaker box Tuesday and had picked up a space heater at the store.