Mom rescues 2 children, but dies while trying to save baby from N. Houston house fire, officials say

Monday, February 5, 2024
Houston mom rescues 2 children, but dies trying to save baby from house fire on Heaney Street near Tidwell and Bauman, HFD says
Mom dies trying to save baby from N. Houston house fire, officials say

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A mother and her infant died in a tragic house fire in north Houston on Saturday morning, according to officials.

The Houston Fire Department said firefighters responded to the fire at a home on Heaney Street near Tidwell and Bauman Road.

Officials said the woman, 31-year-old Giovanna Cabrera, was able to rescue two of her children before going back into the burning home for her 1-year-old, Gabriel, but she never made it out.

The victim's sister, Giselle Bueno, said the two surviving children are nine and six years old and are now with their father.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family cover funeral costs and support her two surviving children, as well as her parents who lost everything in the fire.

Bueno told ABC13 that the smoke and flames overcame her sister.

"I know that she had to save her babies, like I can only imagine how scared she was," Bueno said.

Firefighters arrived to find a house heavily up in flames with power lines down on one side. They could not enter the home due to the fire conditions and structure integrity.

"She had him in her arms like the baby, so I know she tried. I know if she could've. She would have made it out," Bueno said.

According to fire crews, the home was so damaged it was unclear whether it had one or two stories.

When ABC13 asked crews to clarify, they said there was no way of knowing the home's structure just by looking at it after the fire.

Eyewitness News spoke to a neighbor who said she heard kids yelling for help in Spanish through the mail slot on her door just before 5 a.m.

When she got to the door, the neighbor said she saw the shoeless children in the rain, running toward their neighbors. Then, she saw the house across the street engulfed in flames.

Jaime Garcia, a pastor at Bethel Baptist Church, brought out his congregation and others to support the family.

"The church is here, family and friends, and that is for one reason to encourage this family during this very tragic time in their life that none of us can understand," Garcia said.

Bueno and Cabrera's surviving children received clothing, food, money, and gifts.

Bueno admitted the crowd was overwhelming, but the love and support meant the world.

"It is really nice to see how important she was and how everyone sees her as she was because she was a hero," Bueno said.

The fire department said officials always advise people to stay out of a home once they escape a fire. Still, officials said it's understandable that this mother was in an impossible situation.

Firefighters said they are continuing their investigation to determine what caused the fire.