By Jean Cole
A Limestone County mother has died after being severely burned in a March 28 fire that destroyed her family's home west of Athens.
Dominga Lorenza, 45, died Sunday night in the burn unit at the University of Alabama Hospitals at Birmingham.
Friends and family said Dominga suffered severe burns on her head, hands and feet — possibly while searching for her children — after the family's mobile home in the 17000 block of Andrews Street caught fire that Friday morning. She leaves behind her husband, Caesar Gonzalez, and their two small children, Caesar, 6, and Lilianna, 5.
Cause of fire
Family friend Vanessa Soto said the two children may have started the fire in the home while their mother was in the bath. However, Soto said she did not believe the children started a fire because they were cold as some media had reported. Witnesses told Soto that Lorenza may have been looking for her children inside the burning home before she finally exited.
Lilianna had escaped from the home after the fire broke out, and little Caesar had run to the Florencia Landa home, located directly behind the Gonzalez home, to alert them to the fire, Soto said. The Landa family, including the mother, Maria, 45, and their children, Junior, 13, Alma, 12, and Esa, 3, escaped unharmed but their home, clothing and other possessions were unusable due to smoke, heat and water damage.
You can help
Anyone who would like to help the Gonzalez family with money for funeral expenses or to help either family re-establishing their homes, is asked to call Soto, who is bilingual, at 520-455-7259 or go to the home at 909 N. Jefferson St. in Athens, where Caesar and his children are staying temporarily. To help the Landa family, call their daughter, Analiele, after 2 p.m. at 256-278-0000. She is also bilingual.