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One family picking up the pieces after their home caught on fire and they need help from the community

Posted at 11:06 PM, Sep 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-24 00:14:51-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A family is picking up the pieces after a massive fire burned their home over the weekend.

Pictures, memories, and a lot more are now gone.

But one thing the family tells our Action 10 news team is that they are thankful that they still have each other.

“They were yelling fire! Let's get out of the house,” says homeowner Ashley Wilkey.

Those were the screams that woke Ashley Wilkey out of her sleep coming from her young children.

This happened at her home for many years located at the 700 block of Cornelia Circle caught on fire while her and two of her children were still inside.

“It's just heartbreaking because me and my sisters grew up in the home and to see something happen like this it's just heartbreaking,” says Wilkey.

Everyone who was inside including the family dog was able to run out the house with only the clothes on their backs.

The fire began on the back patio and made its way all over the home and the family believes this was no accident.

“Every room is black, smoke damage mainly the back area is burnt the front is more thick smoke damage but everything is, close shoes, everything gone,” says Wilkey.

However, the family surveillance video camera caught a major missing piece to this puzzle.

The video shows a man walking to the back yard and later walking away from the home before flames erupted.

More answers began to reveal.

Investigators found a wallet in the back area and later arrested twenty-year-old Salatiel Guajardo Jr. for arson.

Ashley is thankful that her children are safe and that no one was hurt.

But she needs help.

Wilkey wants to fix her house back up.

However, she says she can't do it alone and asking the community to help.

Her children lost everything including their beds, and clothes for school.

Ashley adds on how anything helps.

Law enforcement says this is still an active investigation.

Guajardo is in the Nueces County Jail. His bond is set for $150,000 but law enforcement has not yet confirmed if he is the same man in the surveillance video.

If you would like to help Ashley and her family, you can do so here.