Starr County officials are investigating a deadly structure that claimed the life of an 82-year-old woman in Las Lomas as a homicide, according to a sheriff’s office news release.
The Starr County Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 call at 1:12 a.m. Saturday morning regarding a fire on Palm Street, a subdivision of east Rio Grande City.
According to a news release, upon arrival sheriff’s deputies observed a trailer home and a residence fully engulfed. They made contact with a family who lived in the home who informed them that everyone was able to escape from the burning residence except for Bartola Davila, the 82-year-old woman.
Attempts were made to enter the residence and locate Davila by deputies and family members, but the fully engulfed house made it impossible.
Members of the Rio Grande City Police Department, Rio Grande City Fire Department, San Isidro Fire Department, La Casita Fire Department, and the Texas Department of Public Safety arrived on scene before the fire was extinguished.
The body of Davila was discovered under some debris once the fire was extinguished. She was pronounced dead at 5:15 a.m. by Justice of the Peace JM Alvarez and an autopsy was ordered.
According to the release, the case is being handled as a homicide. Starr County investigators and the State Fire Marshal’s Office Investigator are investigating the fire.
Anyone with any information pertaining to the fire is urged to contact the Starr County Sheriff’s Office at (956) 487-5571.
A fundraiser page was created on Facebook on Saturday by an Ana Karen Mendoza, who identified herself as the granddaughter of a woman who lost her life in a fire at Las Lomas around 1 a.m. As of press time, more than $2,000 of a $50,000 ask was contributed.