Medina County: Couple in their 70’s lose home to fire

Firemen were dispatched to the 600 block of Palfrey Street for a house fire that sadly destroyed the home of a well-known Natalia couple, Mr. and Mrs. Modesta Bustamante. Adding to the chaos at the scene was a man who tried to run inside the burning home many times, and was eventually arrested.
“The structure was in full bloom as we arrived, and we did an internal attack to knock down the fire initially,” said Gilbert Rodriguez, Natalia VFD. “Mrs. Bustamante was cooking when the fire broke out in the kitchen.”
“She was beginning to start cooking when she heard a loud crackling sound and saw flames burst out of the wall above the stove, so we believe it was actually an electrical fire,” said Niece Nikki Bermea.
The Bustamantes are longtime residents of this community, and Natalia Fire Department is collecting donations of furniture, household items, clothing, etc to help out this nice couple.
“Mr. and Mrs. Bustamante are nice, church-going people, always helping out in the community, especially at church-related events at St. John Bosco,” Rodriguez said.
Volunteers needed for cleanup, donations of clothes appreciated
Bermea commented, “We met with the insurance adjuster this Monday and it did not go well. It doesn’t look like the amount of insurance money is going to provide enough for another house, let alone getting the property cleaned up and demolished. Right now I am looking for help and volunteers to help clean up the property so they won’t have to use their money to do that. We did have one roll-off container donated, so I just need volunteers.”
“They are completely in shock. The clothes on their backs and her purse are all they have left from their home where they’ve lived for 31 years. They have a roof over their head as they are staying with their daughter right now. They are really in need of clothing. Their sizes are: Men’s large shirt, pants 36 waist-30 length, and size 8.5 shoe. Women’s medium top, and size 8 pants, and size 6 shoes.”
“They are the nicest, nicest, sweetest people, who volunteer for everything,” Bermea adds. “She’s a member of the John Bosco Guadalupanas as well as the food pantry in Natalia. They have lived here for 31 years, and have raised their family here. You may remember going to school with their children Rudy Bustamante, Ruben Bustamante, and Ruby Bustamante. They also have grandchildren attending high school here in Natalia right now.”
A 25-year-old male subject was apprehended at the scene for trying to enter the burning home after being warned not to.
“We escorted him off the first time, but this gentleman continually came up to the scene trying to enter the structure. At first we thought he was a family member, but it turns out he is from Somerset and the family does not know the man. He was detained after attempting to enter the structure multiple times, and after being detained it was discovered that he was in possession of drug paraphernalia. Once he got to the jail, he was also found to be in possession of a small amount of meth, so was also charged with Possession of a Prohibited Substance in a Correctional Facility.”
Donations can be dropped off at 211 Pearson St. in Natalia or mailed to NATALIA VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPT at P. O. Box 31 Natalia, Texas 78059. Contact the Bustamante’s niece Nikki Bermea to help with the cleanup or assist the family 210-701-4357.