FREDERICKSBURG, Texas — Family and friends in Fredericksburg are mourning the loss of two teenagers, 15-year-old Azalyia Hernandez and 16-year-old Eliza Maurer. Both died when the apartment they were in caught on fire early Sunday morning.
"Joyful, a wild soul, amazing, contagious," said Leah Rosa, a friend of Hernandez. "Everything about her was just – like, she made a difference in my life, for sure."
"[The] cause of [the] fire is still under investigation by the State Fire Marshall and several witnesses are still being interviewed to determine the hours leading up to the incident," a post on FPD's Facebook said.
"It's so heartbreaking that they had to go out in this way," Rosa said. "Ellie was an amazing person. I met her when I was about six years old. She was my neighbor at my old house."
The tragedy left family and friends, like Rosa and Natalie Mondragon, devastated.
"I think I'm having a hard time with comprehending that this actually happened," said Mondragon, who was also a good friend of Hernandez.
The Hernandez family needs help paying for the funeral, so they have set up a GoFundMe and are hoping people will help with donations. The family calls her a "happy soul" and Rosa said they need help now more than ever.
"They're very loving people. I know that if anyone else was in this situation, they would definitely give to their family and send prayers and all that. Every prayer and donation that we get is really meaningful to us," Rosa said.
If you want to donate to the Hernandez family, you can click here.
KVUE reached out to Fredericksburg ISD about the incident. The district said in a statement:
"The FISD family and community is saddened by the tragic loss of two of our very own FHS students. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the two students.
Both students attended FHS. To support our families and students we have counselors available as needed to support the families, students, and staff as needed. The administration has reached out to the families and are making available the resources we have to offer as a district and community.
Our HS, MS, and FES has been remote learning this past week. After Thanksgiving break our plan is to return to in person instruction."
On Dec. 1, the Fredericksburg Police Department posted to Facebook, asking the community for information about the girls' whereabouts on Nov. 21.
"The Fredericksburg Police Department is asking the community for information that anyone might have regarding who Azalyia Hernandez and Eliza Maurer were seen associating with on the night of November 21, 2020. Both girls were reported to have been attending a Quinceañera at the American Legion Hall on the evening of Saturday, November 21, 2020. If anyone has information on the identity of any person(s) the girls left with and/or who they might have been seen with around town that evening before returning to the apartment at Ten19 Apartments please contact the Fredericksburg Police Department or the Gillespie County Crime Stoppers."
A GoFundMe has also been started to assist the Maurer family.
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