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Stockton Father Killed In Hot Water Heater Explosion

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A horrific accident at a south Stockton home has left one man dead and a family without a home. 

Jaime Gonzales, a father of 3, was attempting to repair the water heater Tuesday morning when it exploded, causing burns to his body that soon lead to his death. 

Now the community and local teachers are rallying in support of the family including a high school  student with a bright future. 

One of the sons, 18-year old Daniel, is a senior at Edison High School. He is so well loved that the school is doing everything they can to support him. 

"It's heartbreaking to hear how his father passed away and to hear that they're homeless right now," said Daniel's  junior year AP history teacher, Angelo Sandoval. 

Sandoval adds that the loss is especially difficult during the holidays. 

"At this moment Daniel should be wondering ...what am I going to get for Christmas.  But now he's gonna be wondering where am I going to live? And how do I live without my father," he said. 

Students and teachers are showing their love for Daniel, an honor student, top of his class who they say is exceptional. Teachers say he dreams of being the first in his family to graduate college. 

"I hope he can keep going, and push through this year and get past this. That's my biggest concern, cause he's a great student on his way to doing great things," said Daniel's AP government teacher Brad Franca. 

Daniel's father sustained 3rd degree burns to the majority of his body. Once the water heated exploded, Gonzales was initially trapped in the garage. 

A neighbor helped rescue him out. He was rushed to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento where he died shortly after. 

Meanwhile the fire spread throughout the entire home. 

"Not only is the family going through the loss of a father, and a husband, but their home was irreparably damaged. They were renting a home, but now they have to find a new place to live, and need to buy furniture," said Franca. 

As Daniel and his family try to get back on their feet, their second family at Edison High have high hopes. 

"I hope the community supports him and know that this is a cool kid and he deserves our help," said Sandoval. 

The high school is holding a cookie contest Thursday, as a fundraiser for the family. They've also started a Go Fund Me account to support the family during this untimely death. 

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