CEDAR PARK, Texas - It's been more than a week since the Parmer Lane Fire displaced dozens of residents at the Bexley at Silverado Apartment Complex in Cedar Park. The fire destroyed at least 24 units and a handful more with fire damage.
Many will have to start over, including Ruben Telles, a firefighter in Hutto.
He and his girlfriend lived in building 10, the part of the complex that got hit the hardest. He said they lost everything.
"In my line of work, it's like sometimes we say we see people go through the worst day of their life," said Telles.
For Ruben Telles, the roles of firefighter and survivor were reversed when dozens of local and state agencies got a call to the place he calls home on August 8.
"I see people deal with stuff like this, you know, a lot in my career, and now I'm also dealing with it," said Telles. "I think it just kind of gave me a perspective of both. It was definitely kind of hard and going through it and not being here and being away."
Telles was at work the day his Cedar Park apartment complex evacuated residents, including his girlfriend.
He came home not long after to find his building in ashes. He said he still can't even go inside.
The Bexley at Silverado Apartment Complexes moved him into a new unit.
"I can't even begin to explain our gratitude and just how thankful we are," said Telles.
Now with a roof over their heads, they're left trying to fill an empty space from scratch.
That's when the Hutto Fire Rescue team and Professional Firefighters Association stepped in, eager to help one of their own with a GoFundMe.
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"Thank you for all the support," said Telles. "It's crazy how much that has helped us and really made this, you know, tragedy way less hectic, and just let everybody know we're in good spirits because of them."
Telles said he hopes to use the money to return to a new version of normalcy.
"To hopefully buy a house, and get everything just rebuilt," said Telles. "We have nothing right now, so you know, just put our lives back together and get everything rebuilt to at least the way we had it."
Even as he rebuilds from nothing, Telles said he still has a reason to smile.
"It's really hard to be down when you have all that support," said Telles. "Things got good so fast it was just hard to stay down on the situation."
Williamson County Justices of the Peace, Austin Disaster Relief, and the American Red Cross are also helping survivors of the Parmer Lane Fire.