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Family Torn Apart By Deadly Fire Recovering Physically, Spiritually

For the first time since a deadly fire killed his two brothers, Gilbert Sifuentes opening up to ABC-7.

Sifuentes has anchored his family in the wake of a deadly fire that killed two of his young brothers and left his father recovering from smoke inhalation injuries at a Lubbock burn center.

“He thought he was going to come down to see his children because that’s his last memory,” said Gilbert Sifuentes Jr. in regards to his father, Gilbert Sifuentes Sr. “He was able to carry his children out but the carbon monoxide took over and he fell to the floor.”

The fire happened in the early morning hours of Sunday, April 11at the Krupp Memorial Housing Complex in east El Paso. Neighbors said Sifuentes Sr. ran out of his apartments during the blaze, but ran back inside when he realized that only his six-year-old son had managed to get out safely.

Sifuentes Sr. managed to get his two other sons, five-year-old Gibran and nine-year-old Gerardo, out of the fire. However, he collapsed before realizing that his boys had died of smoke inhalation. Sifuentes Jr. told ABC-7 giving his father the heartbreaking news was even harder to do than coming to grips with the deaths of his brothers.

Fire investigators say they still do not know what caused the fire and the family has hired a private investigator to take a closer look at what might have happened that night. On the advice of their attorney, they declined to elaborate about the investigation, but they say no matter the outcome, they will never forget their father’s courageous actions.

My father remains a hero to all of us. He’s a great man, a great father, and has always gone out of his way to care for us and the four little ones that he had,” said Sifuentes Jr.

The Housing Authority of El Paso runs the apartment complex where Sifuentes and his boys lived. Soon, he will be allowed to move into another unit with his six-year-old son and his wife, who’s a Mexican Citizen granted a temporary permit to live her family in El Paso.

The Sifuentes and his wife had another son, who is 13 years old. He was living in Juarez with her at the time of the fire.

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