A Maryland family of 10 is reeling after a mother perished in a house fire in Beltsville while trying to help her daughter, who was already outside, escape.
Two years after moving from El Salvador, 42-year-old Mirna Reinosa, her husband Jamie Gonzalez and their two children had become part of a large extended family after moving in with Reinosa’s brother, his wife and their family in Beltsville.
Before noon on Friday, a fire started in the basement where Reinosa and her family were sleeping.
The adults got out and went back in for their kids. Gonzalez was overcome by the smoke and flames that billowed from the house on Montgomery Road.
Reinosa fought through and managed to get her son, 18-year-old Daniel, out of the house. She went back in for her daughter, 8-year-old Sophia, whom investigators say had somehow already escaped.
Reinosa never made it back out. She would've been 43 on Monday.
“They were planning a surprise birthday party for her today," Virginia Inezeo, a family friend, said.
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Inezeo is among those trying to help the family now, as the full weight of the tragedy hits them, with the loss of Reinosa and the hospitalizations of other loved ones. Inezeo is a longtime friend of Silvia Medina, Reinosa’s sister-in-law.
“It's more tragic just to know that not only did [Medina] lose someone in her family, but her house," Inezeo said. “She’s gonna have to start figuring out what she’s gonna do with hospital bills and whether she’s going to keep her sister-in-law’s body here or have it sent back.”
A fundraiser has been set up to help the family with expenses.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Authorities do not suspect foul play.