By TODD GLASSCOCK
After a fire Wednesday devastated the Mineral Wells home of Alex and Diane Ramirez, family, friends and neighbors rallied to help him and his family recover.
Longtime friend Casper Davila, who lives behind the Ramirezes, has been accepting donations of clothes and household items for the Ramirez family at his home at 206 S.W. 17th St.
“We grew up as teenagers together,” he said of Ramirez. “They’re good people.”
Ramirez and his wife, two daughters and eight grandchildren lived in the home, and all have lost almost everything, Davila said. Clothes are especially needed and donations can be left in front of his fence.
The fire, which appears to have started in a middle bedroom around 2 p.m., swept through the home quickly, causing a total loss, said Mineral Wells Fire Chief Mike Pool. A dozen firefighters fought the blaze for about an hour before containing it.
Pool said the fire was probably ignited by a lighter that some of the children were reportedly playing with in the bedroom, according to the children’s mother.
Ramirez said the family stayed with his sister Wednesday and had spent most of the day Thursday trying to clean up and salvage what they could. The Red Cross, he said, was also offering its help.
The family has lost almost everything, he said.
Davila said Diane and the two daughters, Tiffany and Brittany, weren’t able to recover any clothes. All of the family, including the grandchildren, need clothes.
Once the community learned of the fire Wednesday afternoon on Facebook, residents began a social media campaign to get clothing donations. Mineral Wells resident Patty Oksa posted a list of sizes needed for all the family.
Clothes needed include women’s XL shirts, size 18 women’s pants, large junior shirts, and size 11 and 29 pants, and boy’s size eight, four and three and girl’s size seven-eighths and four-fifths. Shoes are also needed in boy’s sizes one, two, seven, eight, nine and 10 and girl’s 10 and 13.
Davila said he and Ramirez and the family worked through most of the night to try to recover what they could from the gutted home.
A fund is established at First Financial Bank for Alex and Diane Ramirez, who are newspaper carriers. Donations can be made at the bank in Alex Ramirez’s name, and checks into the account should be in his name.