Family mourns 'Angel' after early morning fire

Posted at 9:14 PM, Nov 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-24 14:25:35-05

An early morning fire has claimed the life of a Waco man.

46-year-old Jimmy Rios died when a fast-moving fire tore through his home at 18th and Gorman, leaving him with no escape.

"That's where the fire started," said Diana Rios, pointing to the place where flames toOK her brother.  It started just after 6 a.m. Wednesday morning, in the second-story kitchen of his home.

He and his wife Gracie lived upstairs, while his mother Yolanda lived downstairs

She said Jimmy yelled for the women to get out.

”My brother told her, 'go, I'm coming right behind you' and he looked out the window stuck his head out trying to get some air and he asked 'is Gracie there did she make it?' Then he yelled for help and a neighbor brought a ladder, tried to help my brother but it was too late the smoke got him,” Rios said.

Jimmy spent decades working for the City of Waco.  His family calls him a hard-working man, who looked forward to spending the holidays with his family.

His wife suffered serious injuries.

“Her face got burned. It's blistered up.  Her ears.  She made it out OK, she's gonna be OK,” Diana said.

But what's not going to be ok is the Rios family spirit.   

They say the fire broke out suddenly and hardly gave anyone a chance to escape.

This fire burned hot and it burned fast.  Two firefighters got hurt battling the flames.  One got injured in the ankle and the other in the elbow.

First responders even called for backup.

Jimmy, who gave his life to help ensure their safety, didn't make it.

Rios says that guarantees him a special place in heaven.

”I just know now, that the man up above took a good man, he took a good man and he's gonna get a good set of wings and a good halo,” she said.

And as the Rios family meets for the holidays, they'll say an extra prayer for Jimmy, their hero.

The investigation into the cause of the fire continues right now.

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