Woman dies in wind-fueled house fire in East End

Firefighters say a young woman didn't make it out of the home

HOUSTON - Houston firefighters say overnight winds fueled a house fire in East End that took a woman's life.

There were three people inside that home in the 5300 block of Clay St. when the fire broke out. Two were able to escape, but the woman was trapped inside a back bedroom.

The family home has been destroyed by fire.  This family managed to salvage some photos; all that's left of their childhood home.

Maria Valle is surrounded by her family, but the fire claimed the life of her sister, Guadalupe Galvan.

"It's very, very terrible. She was our baby sister. Out of seven girls, one boy," Valle said.

She says Guadalupe, 32, recently suffered some health problems. She was living with her parents. Everyone was asleep when the fire started just before midnight. Another family member who lives nearby spotted the flames.

"Two of my nephews they went in there to get them out but unfortunately they didn't know if my sister was in there," said Valle.

They say Guadalupe suffered from insomnia and sometimes would go for a walk.

"Praying. Let's hope today was one of those nights where she couldn't sleep and she's walking around in the neighborhood," said Valle.

Unfortunately, Guadalupe died in the back bed room where she was asleep. The nephew tried to go in and look for Guadalupe but the fire was out of control.  Investigators say the fire was intense and grew bigger and stronger thanks to the wind.

"Heavy fire coming from the front of the building in fact the ambulance was first on location saw it spreading real fast wind really causing rapid extension," said Capt. Ruy Lozano with the Houston Fire Department.

The fire was so intense, it melted the siding off the side of the house next door and caught the car in the driveway next door on fire.

Valle and her family are grateful to have their parents, but heartbroken over the loss of Guadalupe.

"She was so happy. Always smiling, all the time," said Valle.

HFD says the fire was determined to be accidental.

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