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Garland house fire under investigation, 5 remain in hospital

Garland house fire under investigation, 5 remain in hospital
Garland house fire under investigation, 5 remain in hospital 02:08

GARLAND, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - A community in Garland is mourning the loss of a woman who died in a house fire believed to be caused by an explosion Sunday morning.  

It happened near East Miller Road and South 1st street. 

54-year-old Paula Reyes was not the only victim. Five of her family members were also injured and are recovering in the hospital.

Neighbor Frank Sanchez said he could hear and feel the explosion from across the street. Right away, he knew it wasn't going to be good.

"It sounded like something dropped and then boom," Sanchez said. "And then I saw this white stuff coming up."

Sanchez said that as the fire started, he could see there were several people inside and he quickly began helping them out.  

"I hear somebody praying or crying, something, it was the lady in the room on the right-hand side so I went inside and tried to help her," he said. 

He said by this time, the flames were so intense he couldn't get to Reyes so he asked a neighbor for help.

"I tell one of the guys outside 'hey give me a shirt or something so I can kill the fire' and they gave me a shirt and I went back inside," he said. "My neighbor came over and we grabbed her and put her outside. As soon as we put her outside, everything catch on flame." 

Reyes was taken to a nearby hospital, but didn't make it.

"Now that I found out the lady has passed away, I start shaking more," he said. "Even my neighbor said he can't sleep. It was horrible. The most horrible thing I've ever seen." 

Her two daughters, son and two grandsons are now recovering in the hospital. Three are in critical condition. 

Garland police said the cause of the fire is still under investigation, but a gas leak is a possibility.

"I think me and the other neighbors are wondering what happened there," Sanchez said. "We are just trying to get answers."

Donations to the family can be made here.

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