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5 days after Balch Springs fire, homeowner who lost everything shares powerful message

"I'm 57 years old," Balch Springs resident Robert Pinero said. "It's hard. I'm not young no more. I don't have the strength to start all over again."

BALCH SPRINGS, Texas — Almost every home destroyed in the Balch Springs fire Monday is now empty.

Displaced families took what they could and moved in with friends or relatives as they figure out their next steps. 

But Saturday, Robert Pinero came back home. Not because his house or any of his belongings were salvageable, but because the one thing that survived the fire was costing him money he doesn't have.

"I need to give this back, its $250 they're charging me," Pinero told WFAA as he gestured toward his modem. "I said I have no money, they said we'll put it in your collections."

Pinero wanted to show us his home so we could show our viewers the reality of how quickly a fire can spread and how much damage it will leave behind.

"I'm 57 years old. It's hard. I'm not young no more. I don't have the strength to start all over again."

And Pinero needs all the strength he can get. 

His 7-year-old dog, Torretto, did not survive the fire.

"We're still crying," he said. "Believe it or not, we got more hurt for the dog than from the house.'"

But the house hurts too.

"We just did the roof last week," Pinero said. "Brand new roof. "$17,000."

While Pinero shared his story with WFAA, crews 23 miles away in Glenn Heights put out hot spots from a fire that burned 350 acres Friday. No homes were lost.

Pinero said each fire encourages him to tell people to cut their lawns and take the burn bans seriously. 

"It can happen," he said. "It happened to me. It can happen to someone else."

Pinero is a religious man. He credits God for keeping all of his neighbors safe while their homes burned, and believes God will help him through whatever happens next.

"In Jesus' name, everything's gonna be alright."

Pinero's son started a GoFundMe to help fundraise for a new dog.

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