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2 children hospitalized after Christmas Eve house fire

HOUSTON – Two children were hospitalized and their family was displaced when their north Harris County house caught fire Christmas Eve.

The fire was reported about 5:20 a.m. on Hartwick Road near East Hardy Road.

“We were all asleep when the fire started consuming the house,” said Ruperta Leal, who lives at the home. “My son-in-law ran to wake us up and let us know that the house was on fire.”

Firefighters said the blaze started in the back of the home and appears to have been electrical in nature. Two of the four children who live at the home were taken to Texas Children’s Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation, firefighters said.

Family members said they have lived at the home for 25 years. They said they lost their life savings in the fire, as well as their children’s clothes and Christmas gifts.

“They had something to call their own and now it’s gone,” said Mariana Grifaldo, Leal’s daughter. “Their savings is gone. Their clothing is gone. Both of their pets is gone. Like all in one day, everything gone.”

All eight people who live in the home were able to escape the blaze. Two dogs died in the fire.

The children range in age from 3 to 13, according to family members.

A GoFundMe page that has been set up to help the family can be found here. The American Red Cross was also at the scene to assist the family.


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