FREDERICKSBURG, Texas (KXAN) — A family member confirms 15-year-old Azalyia Hernandez was one of the two people found after an apartment fire in Fredericksburg Sunday morning.
Stephanie Sorola-Borda, Hernandez’s aunt, says the other person found was Hernandez’s friend, who Fredericksburg police identified as 16-year-old Eliza Maurer Monday afternoon.
First responders say they found the two dead inside apartment #207 at Ten19 Apartments on Friendship Lane. The person renting the unit was gone at the time of the fire, police said.
According to officers, preliminary results from autopsies show the girls probably died from smoke inhalation. A toxicology report is forthcoming.
The Texas Fire Marshal’s Office was also called to the scene and is “actively investigating the crime,” the police department wrote on Facebook. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, and witnesses are being interviewed to figure out what led up to it.
The Fredericksburg ISD superintendent says both were 10th grade students at Fredericksburg High School.
“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.Jeffrey L. Brasher, Fredericksburg ISD superintendent
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.”
“She had big dreams and a huge heart,” Sorola-Borda told KXAN News in a message. “Full of life. She lit up the room with her beautiful smile. ”
She says her niece loved dancing and that family members would sometimes catch her dancing alone.
“She made everyone laugh,” Sorola-Borda said. “I can’t believe this happened!”
Lisa Trevino, says she had never let her daughter sleep over at friends’ houses before, and that Hernandez checked in with her that evening with a picture showing where she was.
As Trevino was getting ready to pick her daughter up Sunday morning, she says police came to her door with news no parent wants to hear. Trevino says officers showed her a picture of her daughter’s body to confirm that it was her.
“I didn’t believe it until I went out there, and they showed me a picture, and it was my baby’s face,” she recalled. “The first thing in my mind was I thought she was calling out for mommy, and I wasn’t there to protect her.”
Trevino says she wouldn’t wish for anyone to see their daughter like that and that all she wants now is answers.
“I’m staying strong for her. I really want justice to be served. I need to know. That’s the only way I’m going to feel better,” she said.