TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) — A 22-year-old mother and her 3-year-old son are recovering after a mobile home fire that claimed the lives of three family members.
The fire broke out at a home near the intersection of Pritcher Road and Pritcher Manor in Lithia Monday afternoon. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister says the trailer became quickly engulfed in flames, and Veronica Bermudez and her son Elijah Lopez, were the only ones able to escape.
Bermudez’s fiancé, Angel Lopez Sr., 22, and two children, Angel Lopez Jr, 5, and 14-month-old Harmony Lopez, died.
“If I could rewind it back, and I was there to help them, I would give my life for them so they can be here,” said Shaun Martinez, Veronica’s brother.
Martinez says his sister tried hard to save her family, and suffered burns that left her hospitalized at Tampa General. The pain she’s experiencing is something he doesn’t wish on anybody.
“She’s just shocked trying to blame herself, but it’s not her fault, no one’s fault,” Martinez said.
Martinez lives next door to where the family’s mobile home used to be. He shares he loved spending time with his brother-in-law Angel and the two children who died.
“I can’t step a foot in my trailer because all I see going in there is a lot of memories of my brother, my niece and my little nephew,” he said.
The family is taking donations via GoFundMe to help Veronica and Elijah, who escaped the fire with only the clothes on their backs.
A vigil is also being held Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the home to remember the three lives lost.