RICHMOND, Texas (FOX 26) - Two men are dead after an early morning fire just off U.S. Highway 90 in Richmond. Neighbors saw flames shooting from the trailer home at around 1:30 a.m. Friday. They contacted 911 and tried to put out the fire. When the flames were out, a man and his nephew were found dead inside.
"One had diabetes and he didn’t have any legs," explains neighbor Amy Kagy. "The other one was in his 30s." The two men were Abel Garcia, in his late 60s, and his nephew Isaac Martinez. Garcia had his legs amputated several years ago due to diabetes.
"If he was in a heavy sleep and before you know it, there was fire all around, I can only imagine what he went through," says Albert Garcia, but he knows there’s nothing he can do now to save his brother and nephew. "Somehow, I can wish 100 times that I would have been there.”
"I’m a Marine. You may look at me and think, ‘Oh, he’s not hurting that much,’ but inside, it’s really hurting,” explains Albert. The fire broke out, according to the fire marshal’s office, near the kitchen. One man was discovered in the rubble still in the back of the home, while the other was by the front door.
"From what I understand, they didn’t have smoke detectors in the house,” says Kagy.
Loved ones hope others will learn from this tragedy and make sure they have smoke detectors, which, investigators confirm this home did not have. Albert says through such a terrible loss, he has learned an invaluable lesson. At age 65, he shared a first with his surviving brother.
"I told my older brother, 'I love you,' before I hung up (the phone)," says Albert shaking his head. "I’ve never, never.”
The fire marshal's office says the fire is still under investigation and a cause has not been determined.