'She loved life': Family remembers grandmother who died in house fire on Thanksgiving Eve

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The 73-year-old woman who died in a house fire in northeast Houston Wednesday was a loving and vibrant grandmother of eight, family members said.

Nieva Espinoza Moreno was home alone at the house on Pinetex Drive that she shares with her husband, son and grandchildren when the fire started.

The family said they rushed to the scene as soon as they heard about the fire, but the flames moved too fast.

"It was hard for my family to watch all this. We stood back and couldn't do anything. That was very hard for us." Moreno's granddaughter Janie Espinoza told ABC13. "She loved life. She definitely had a lot more life to live."

Houston firefighters found Moreno near her bedroom window. They think she was trying to escape. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Friday night, family collected what they could. The rest is a total loss.

"We didn't only lose my grandma, but my uncle and my grandpa, my uncle's kids, they lost all their belongings. They don't have anything anymore," Espinoza said.

So, relatives are hosting a benefit on Saturday Dec. 5 to help raise money. The benefit will be at Trevino's Sports Bar located at 10502 Bauman Rd at 11 a.m. The family is asking for men's clothes sizes x-large, large and medium and women's clothes size medium.

"We didn't celebrate (Thanksgiving). There was nothing to celebrate. It was hard to be thankful when my grandma wasn't here with us."

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