Harker Heights apartment fire causes six people to lose their home’s during the holiday season

The fire was initially put out before it reignited less than an hour later where it burned the Rios’ home
Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 5:26 PM CST
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HARKER HEIGHTS, Texas (KWTX) - A fire in Harker Heights last week devastated a community after six people were left without a home, pets were lost or killed and a fire fighters was injured on scene.

“The house of course is a big deal but it’s nothing to making sure everyone was safe, said Melissa Rios, who lived in the complex prior to the fire.

Rios and her family’s home suffered major damage during the fire.

“We were allowed to go in for a few moments to grab a few things,” said Rios.

It was her daughter’s 18th birthday.

So, once they thought the fire was extinguished, they went to dinner to celebrate.

“About an hour into the dinner we got another call that the fire had reignited,” said Rios.

This time, it was a worst-case scenario.

“This time it was my home that was ablaze,” said Rios

They live in a top floor unit and lost everything.

Fire in Harker Heights claims the homes of six people
Fire in Harker Heights claims the homes of six people(KWTX)

She says the community and her family have been their saving grace.

“Being homeless, we have family that has allowed us to stay with them, that have been very graceful. We’re appreciative for them. Being displaced is the real trauma,” said Rios, describing life one week after the fire.

Rios looks at the situation as an opportunity to move forward, hoping to open their first restaurant, Culture Cuisine-Puerto Rican and Filipino Cuisine, in Killeen, this month.

Meanwhile another family from the fourplex who wasn’t able to go on camera today is also struggling, telling us their cat, Rainbow, ran away during the fire.

Rainbow is an all-black, silky, indoor only cat, small in size with a white patch under her belly.

Microchipped and registered, he is up to date on all shots and is described by his owners as friendly but scared easily.

Rainbow’s human mother says the cat and her daughter are best friends and that all her daughter wants for Christmas is to have Rainbow home.

If you’d like to donate to either family, resources are available below:

Melissa Rios & family’s GoFundMe

Tionna Rios-Rios and family’s GoFundMe