Construction fire leaves couple without home, LFR investigating

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — Lubbock Fire and Rescue responded to a call Monday morning around 3 a.m. for a building filre between Avenue B and 77th Street . One of the owners of the property, Aurelia Portillo, said she was woken up by a phone call from a concerned neighbor and immediately contacted emergency services.

By the time Portillo arrived, her home, which was under construction, was already fully engulfed with flames. Portillo said she was still in shock and believed someone is responsible for the fire. 

“I can’t stop thinking, ‘Do they know how much pain they cause or, you know, in damage?’ Like, not just like emotional, but like all this the property damage? They did? Everything’s lost. Years of hard work,” Portillo said. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Lt. Philip Grandon, with Lubbock Fire and Rescue, said the time of the fire, along with other details were odd and appeared out of place. 

“Right now, this is undetermined. It is unusual for a house under construction to catch on fire, especially with no utilities,” Grandon said. “So, we are looking at every possibility that it was somebody who did some incendiary activity, or maybe it was just an accident. We don’t know. But we’re our investigators are looking at every possibility.”

Portillo was building the house with Miguel Montoya. They have spent the last 16 years working towards their dream home and it was in it’s final stages. The couple said that they spent all their savings on the home, and they lost everything when it went up in flames.

The house wasn’t covered with insurance, so Portillo set up a Go Fund Me in hopes they might have a chance to rebuild. 

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