Charred cross gives house fire victim hope

Charred crosses were recovered from a house fire that left a West Side family with nothing but the clothes on their backs

Warning signs and caution tape still surround the West Side property where Francisca Lopez called home for the last 43 years.

“Thanks to my God he didn't take any of my family away," the 67-year-old grandmother said.

Two weeks ago she lost everything in a fire. Wind-whipped flames from a car port ignited her house on Ceralvo Street near South Navidad Street. Firefighters did what they could to try and put it out. Only some charred photos and a blackened cross remained, putting her faith in God to the test.

“I know I lost my house,” Lopez explained. “It's fine. I'm not telling him why He did that. He knows why he did it."

Veronica Hernandez grew up in the neighborhood with one of Lopez’s sons.

“It broke my heart to see such a good family going through hard times like that," she explained.

After seeing Facebook posts of the aftermath, Hernandez thought about the help her family received a long time ago from Lopez with flowers when a friend died in a hit and run.

“My mom couldn't afford them so she helped my mom out greatly by making us some beautiful arrangements and it was something that we weren’t able to afford at the time and I've never forgotten it," Hernandez said. “So I thought what more can I do, so that's when I reached out to you guys [Fox San Antonio]."

That brings us to this CASH FOR KINDNESS surprise.

We found Lopez waiting across the street from her completely gutted lot. Hernandez asked Lopez’s son if the two could meet up.

“You may not remember me but I grew up with your son Mark,” she told her while holding her hands. “And when I heard about the fire, I reached out to Fox San Antonio news to see if we can get you guys a little more help."

Lopez started to cry and reached forward to give Hernandez a hug. “I'm okay because no one in my family passed away,” she said. “I've always been struggling all my life. But it makes me more stronger."

Fox San Antonio’s Ryan Wolf stepped in to share news of her $1,000 award. “It's so nice to see you,” he said while shaking her hand. “I'm so sorry to hear about what happened to your family."

He reached into his pocket and pulled out a stack of $100 bills and then said “This is CASH FOR KINDNESS."

She counted the money in her hand.

“7, 8, 9, 10," Lopez said with tears in her eyes. “That makes me feel like people are so good. It's like, um, I'm very happy because, it's I'm, always wanting to do something good for people."

Lopez did have fire insurance. But she says it won't be enough to rebuild. She's currently living with a relative.

Click here to nominate someone you know for the $1,000 CASH FOR KINDNESS prize.


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