ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The community is coming together for an elderly couple who lost everything in an apartment fire Sunday afternoon. Both were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation, while one remains in critical condition.
Henry Padilla’s grandparents had been living in their apartment for seven years alongside their two dogs. Fire crews were called to the apartment complex near Gibson and San Mateo Sunday afternoon. “We’re thinking they were asleep at that time because the whole house was engulfed with smoke mostly because it started from my grandparents’ room in the back right corner,” said Padilla.
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He said neighbors rushed in to help his grandparents. “They were trying to get in, but there was too much smoke, and they called the fire department, so she was the one who suffered a little bit more because she was stuck in nothing but smoke,” said Padilla.
Sadly, one of the dogs lost his life in the fire. “Twinkles made it out; that was kinda like my grandpa’s dog, and then Shorty stayed with my grandma, so he didn’t make it out,” said Padilla.
His grandparents were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. According to Padilla, his grandfather is ok and may soon be going home, but his grandmother is in critical condition.
“He just got some burns on his legs. My grandma, unfortunately, is in the ICU right now; she has not woken up. Today is a big day for her because they’re going to do an MRI on her brain to see how well she’s going to do even if she wakes up,” said Padilla.
His family started a GoFundMe page since his grandparents have nothing left. Padilla said he was surprised at how people have come together to help his family during this difficult time.
“People have really come together, trying to push the $5,000 mark because if my grandma and grandpa both get out, they’re literally going to have nothing to back to at all because everything is in smoke in there, and it like starting from ground zero,” said Padilla.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Crews were able to put the fire out within about 15 minutes of arriving on the scene.