Robstown Fire Victims Mourned, Survivor Speaks Out

A fire in Robstown killed a woman and her two sons on Monday, and now the sole survivor of that blaze is asking if he could have done more to save their lives.

Dahlia Ortiz and her two sons lived in a home off Highway 44, south of Robstown. Two months ago, her nephew Gabino Arviso moved in. He was asleep inside the home when the fire broke out.

"I wished I could have done more," Arviso said. "I should have gone back in, did something."

Arviso is still in a state of shock after being the only family member to escape the deadly fire. On the night of the blaze, he said the power was off at his aunt's house, and his aunt had lit three candles. Ortiz and her two sons, Isaac and Victor, decided to stay up while Arviso went to bed early.

"I woke up choking. Coughing. I couldn't breathe," Arviso said. "I couldn't see. I opened my door. I was trying to find my way out. I was trying to memorize where the door was. Finally I got out. I ran to the front. I started yelling for my aunt and cousins to get out. 'There's a fire, get out,' I started yelling. They never came out."

Family members gathered for the rosary on Thursday at the Ramon Funeral Home to say their goodbyes. Juan Ortiz, Dahlia's brother, said it is hard to have to bury his sister and his two nephews, but it has been made easier by those who stopped by to offer their help and sympathy.

"I also want to thank everybody in the community that has helped us here, coping with this tragedy," Ortiz said. "Just want to thank everyone for their support."

"My aunt, she was real cool," said Veronica Hernandez, Dahlia Ortiz' niece. "She liked to hang out. My cousins were full of energy. They were always up for jokes. I'm just going to miss them."

The funeral mass for all three family members is set for 10 a.m. Friday at St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Robstown. A burial will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery.


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