Starr County family that fell victim to deadly house fire seeking help

Only have a minute? Listen instead
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...
This photo shows the aftermath of a deadly fire in Starr County on Sunday, July 9, 2023. (Courtesy: Starr County Sheriff’s Office)

A family is seeking assistance from the community after a Sunday morning fire destroyed a home and claimed the life of one man and injured a woman.

Starr County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a structure fire on Eugenio Street in La Victoria at approximately 3:56 a.m. Sunday.

“Unfortunately, there was a fatality and a home completely engulfed while other residences had to be evacuated and (one) person transported to the Starr County Memorial Hospital in stable condition,” a post read on the Starr County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

The deceased individual was identified as 64-year-old Reynaldo Ozuna Villarreal. According to the sheriff’s office, his cause of death was asphyxia from smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation with assistance from the State Fire Marshal and the Mission Fire Department.

In the wake of Sunday’s fire, a GoFundMe page was set up to help the family recover and rebuild a new home.

“​​We are reaching out to you today with heavy hearts and a deep sense of urgency,” the GoFundMe read. “Our beloved home, filled with cherished memories and years of hard work, has been ravaged by a devastating fire. We are humbly asking for your support and generosity during this trying time.”

According to the GoFundMe, the donations will be used to help the family with temporary living accommodations, medical expenses, basic necessities including clothing, furniture, kitchenware and personal items, as well as the rebuilding of their home.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the GoFundMe page had received 92 donations, raising a total of $6,560 of the $20,000 goal.

“We understand that times are tough for everyone, and any amount you can contribute will be immensely appreciated,” the GoFundMe read. “Your donation, no matter how small, will bring us one step closer to rebuilding our lives and overcoming this tragedy.”