Local Teacher Loses Everything From Apartment Fire Tuesday

LUBBOCK,TX - A young woman who is approaching her first year of teaching special education at Lubbock Cooper North Elementary School lost all of her belongings and school supplies during an apartment fire Tuesday afternoon. 

Related Link: Fire at Hunters Way Apartment Complex

"Standing here thinking my grandparents' rocking chair sitting in a pile over there and I have my great-grandmother's quilts she made sitting in a pile over there," Eliza Escamilla described the moment she returned to her old apartment and found all of her belongings destroyed. "Had I been able to I would've saved as much as I could but I didn't think it was as bad as it was going to get."

Lubbock Fire Rescue said this accidental fire caused severe, heavy damage to the building and was not safe for anyone to reenter to gather any belongings left behind. It was demolished Tuesday evening. Now 18 people are displaced from their homes. 

"It still feels like there's something I can go home to and there's not," Escamilla said. "I lost both of my grandparents and I have pictures of them when they were younger, I had them on my wall. I literally just pulled the frame off my wall because I knew I wasn't going to be able to replace that picture."

She said she was only able to save her college diploma from Lubbock Christian University, family photo albums, and her laptop. 

"What kills my is the moment I knew I was going to be a teacher I started collecting children's books," Escamilla said. "That was one of my biggest goals because I love books and I lost a lot of books in the fire. That's what breaks my heart is how many books I lost. I've been so blessed that so many of my teaching friends and have helped me so much."

Residents were helped by the American Red Cross and the apartment complex to find temporary homes. Escamilla is staying with her parents until she can sign another lease at Hunters Way Apartments. 

Her friends are asking for the community's help for donations to get Escamilla ready for her first year of teaching. Basic classroom items such as borders, bulletin board decorations, books, games, white boards, storage containers, laminating pouches, or anything else teacher related.

Anyone willing to help can contact Jennifer Boreing for more information on drop off locations at jennifer.d.boreing@att.net.

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