Community Helps Family Devastated By House Fire

By Chris Van Horne
|  Saturday, Jan 12, 2013  |  Updated 10:47 PM CDT
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Two days after losing nearly half their family in a house fire in Haltom City, the Garces family hoped to get help with burial expenses on Saturday.

Chris Van Horne, NBC 5 News

Two days after losing nearly half their family in a house fire in Haltom City, the Garces family hoped to get help with burial expenses on Saturday.

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Community Helps Family Devastated By House Fire

NBC 5's Chris Van Horne reported on the fundraiser for family devastated by house fire. Maritza Garces and her three grandchildren (ages 3, 5 and 2 months old) died in the blaze.

Family Members Killed in Fire Mourned

About 100 people gathered for a candlelight vigil outside the Haltom City home where three children and their grandmother died in a fire.
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A Haltom City family is still coming to grips with the loss of four family members after a tragic house fire on Thursday.

The fire killed Maritza Garces, 52, and three of her grandchildren, 5-year-old Gene Rayos, 3-year-old Jayleen Rayos and 2-month-old Jaime Moran Jr.

On Saturday, neighbors held a fundraiser for the Gene and Jayleen's mother Yessina Garces. She said what happened on Thursday still hasn't totally settled in yet.

"It just seems unbelievable," Garces said.

She said one of her sisters is struggling to cope with the loss of their mother and her nieces and nephews.  Garces is holding up pretty well, especially since she lost almost half her family just days ago.

"I lost my world in a blink of an eye," she said. "I lost my only children, my mom who was my supporter, my backbone, my everything at one time."

Helping to ease that loss are prayers and plenty of support.

"No words can describe how grateful I am right now," Garces said.

A group of her close friends held an impromptu fundraiser at Chrome, a Fort Worth club where Garces use to work. Catherine Garza said she and another friend stayed up the entire night working to make food for fundraiser.

"She's a really good friend," Garza said. "We wanted to contribute and make as much money as impossible for her and her family."

Garces says the funeral costs range between $50,000-$60,000.

"And I don't know where I'm going to get that money," Garces said. "That's why I'm asking for anybody's help."

The family has set up a fund at Wells Fargo Bank called the Garces Family Fund and they plan on holding another fundraiser at Chrome on Saturday, January 19 at 1:00 p.m.

As the support from family and friends has proven to already be a huge help.

"They made me realize that I'm not in this alone," Garces said. "I have my dad still, I got my sisters and they're going to get me through this."

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