Family members of 41-year-old Wendy Harris continue to mourn today after the mother of three was killed early yesterday morning in a Fruitvale house fire.
Harris’ 16-year-old son is responsible for saving his 14-year-old sister from the burning home.
“The boy broke out a window to get to his sister,” said Van Zandt County Fire Marshall Chuck Allen. “There is no doubt that the sixteen year old male saved the life of his sister. He tried feverishly to get to his mother, but could not gain access to her due to the heat and smoke.”
The 14-year-old remains at Parkland Hospital in Dallas today and is expected to make a full recovery after suffering severe burns.
The children lost their father just 3 months ago.
Donations for the family are being accepted at Fruitvale High School.
"We're taking donations at the Administration Office and the First Baptist Church of Fruitvale is hosting a baske sale at Brookshires in Grand Saline Saturday to help raise funds for the family," said Fruitvale ISD Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Jones.
Two of Harris' three children are current students in Fruitvale ISD and will be offered counseling upon returning to school.
"We have had several people off their counsel for the kids when they return," Dr. Jones said. "They're going to need a lot of help for a while."
Other East Texas communities are also raising funds for the family. A donation jar has been set up at Ranchero Buffet in Mineola.