HUFFMAN, Texas - A mother and two of her children were killed and their father was hospitalized Wednesday after a fire broke out at a mobile home in Huffman.
Firefighters were called just before 5:30 a.m. to a home in the 100 block of Cherry Laurel Street for reports of a fire.
Relatives said 33-year-old Natalie Tienda, and two of her children, 9-year-old Tristan and 11-year-old Kienna died in the fire.
According to Tienda’s sister, Melissa Gonzales, the children's father, David Tienda, was badly burned.
He was taken to a hospital and is expected to survive.
The Tiendas also have a 13-year-old son. He was in the hospital at the time of the fire.
Fire officials said David woke up to screaming and heard his children yelling, "Fire!"
A neighbor said he tried to get the family out.
"(I) heard screaming, woke up, went to the room, tried to bust out the windows all around the house and tried to help them out as best I could but it was too late, the house was already in flames," Daniel Benkin said.
Investigators said there were several space heaters in the home.
Gonzales said the family also had problems with a breaker at the mobile home Tuesday.
Investigators said it’s not clear what caused the fire. A spokesperson with the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office said an origin and cause of the fire could be released Thursday afternoon. It is also unclear if the home had smoke detectors.
“They were just trying to stay warm,” Gonzales said. “It’s a shame that that happened. They were just trying to stay warm.”
Gonzales said she was like a mother to Natalie. She remembers her as a loving mom and friend.
“She loved everyone,” Gonzales said. “She can make a friend with anyone. She would go out of her way to do anything for anyone that would talk to her or be a friend to her.”
Gonzales said the Tienda children were close and she worries how her nephew will handle the losses.
“When the oldest one finds out, I’m just afraid what’s going to happen,” Gonzales said. “I don’t know how he’s going to take it.”
According to Gonzales, the family did not have insurance. She put together a GoFundMe account in order to help with funeral expenses for Natalie and her two children.
Editors note: The Harris County Fire Marshal's Office originally reported that three children were killed, but later corrected the number to reflect that an adult woman and two children were killed and an adult had been hospitalized.
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