AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - A fire in an East Austin duplex Sunday morning is now being investigated as arson.
Austin fire officials provided an update saying two families have been displaced, and investigators believe they know who started the fire. A total of nine residents have been displaced due to the fire.
A 16-year-old girl and her 30-year-old brother both suffered second degree burns. Authorities say their aunt is responsible for setting the fire.
On Sunday morning, 16-year-old Dulce Guzman was awoken by her brother Cesar. The 30-year-old is deaf and unable to speak, but was frantically working to tell her something: their home was on fire.
“I was really nervous because I could feel the fire like coming behind us and then it was like me trying to open the door and it was like if you do it we're gonna live, if you don't well we're gonna die type of thing,” Guzman said.
The siblings both escaped, but were burned in the process.
“The fire did touch me, and I got burned, and he got burned really bad too,” Guzman said.
The flames didn't keep their little brother from trying to re-enter the home.
“I realized my little brother was trying to come in here again to save his little guinea pig but it was too late,” Guzman said. “I feel like really bad because like the guinea pig, my little brother was like oh please don't let her die but it was like I really couldn't do nothing at that point.”
The boy spent the morning saying goodbye.
“And I feel sorry for one of the boys that's standing there, he had a guinea pig -- and the guinea pig died and he's been sitting in the front of that cage ever since,” neighbor Rudy Ockelberry said.
A first responder donated a new guinea pig to the family, a glimmer of kindness during a dark time.
The family of seven lost their home, and when they find a new one, there will be one less person living in the house.
Guzman’s aunt Olga Guzman-Calderon, who lived in the home with them, has been charged with arson.
“I'm just like surprised because we did a lot of things for her we took care of her, we took her in when nobody else wanted to take her in and for her to just do all of this, burn the house that we told her to come in, that she was welcome to, and now it's gone,” Guzman said.
The family say they've lost everything and are asking for donations, everything from clothing to hygiene products. The Austin Fire Department says the building is a total loss and there is an estimated half a million dollars in damages.