Relatives of Girl Killed From House Fire Speak Out

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POSTED: Saturday, March 6, 2010 - 11:54pm

UPDATED: Monday, March 8, 2010 - 9:53pm

EL PASO--- Relatives of the Olivo family, who lost their daughter and home to a fire in the Lower Valley, spoke out for the first time Saturday.

We met the family at a fundraiser being held at the Walgreen's near Zaragosa and North Loop, hoping to raise funds so the family

"These are the types of situations you don't think can happen to you. And they do hit home," said Joe Oliva, whose two sisters were caught in the fire.

Stephanie, 19, and Melissa, 16, were inside their home on Cuernavaca when a fire ripped through last month.
Stephanie passed away from smoke inhalation days later.
Melissa was sent to the Lubbock Burn Center and is back in El Paso, but is still having to deal with what happened.

"She's also very strong. She's a God-fearing little girl. She has also amazed me and all the family with everything she's gone through," said her uncle, Jesus Olivo.

"These kind of situations I think me and the whole family discovered a strength we didn't know we had," said Joe.

They say the community has helped their family strong through their donations and words of comfort.

"Not until you're on the other side of the situation do you see and feel the prayers and support of a community. It's great to live here in El Paso," said Jesus.

Joe just hopes the community takes one message home to their families.
"Value your loved ones, because things can change from one minute to the next," he said.

The family is also dealing with questions still left unanswered about the fire.
No cause has been determined.
The family hired investigators from outside El Paso to look at the damage.

Comments News Comments

I am angry and sad at the same time, this didn't have to happen... and it did prompt me to check all the bars in my house for escape. I have a daughter and I would be devastated if this happened, and angry at myself if I could have prevented it. Prayers to the family.

Home was purchased with bars installed. It is unknown who "jurry rigged" the bars on the home, what ever that means. Please elaborate on the prosecution portion of your response. Rain 77, thank you for your response.lululaloca, it is a known fact that no one in the home did anything wrong to cause this tragedy. channel 9 is the only station to report on this with accuracy and taste. Other stations use 3rd party resources to write their so called "eyewitness" news. People, get it right.

A house purchased with bars installed must have had safety releases inside the house to release the bars to allow escape to pass code. People often remove and replace bars when remodeling, updating windows, etc... The law states any barred windows must be able to be released from the inside.

So either the house was not up to code when built, or releases were not installed or maintained when work was done, this if done willfully may be a crime.

Well, well....
where was Mr. Grizzard from KTSM with his cell phone when we need him to film some dead kids...on fire no less..???

I guess he only likes to film when the pressure is on??

I'm sorry to hear this. But for Thomas above: Why is it always that us hispanics have to look for someone to blame. So far it has been said that the cause is unknown so why do you assume it's someone else's fault? Have you conidered that maybe people in the house itself could have accidently done something wrong?

Here is a "question" still left unanswered. Who put the bars on the windows without code compliant safety releases.

Typical El Paso "jurry rigged" cheapo job prevented these people from being able to get out.

This is what we should be looking at... it borders on the criminal. Someone should be prosecuted for this.

May The Lord grant you peace and the answers you so desperatley seek in the tragic loss of this beautiful little angel.

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