EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14/CBS4) — Migrants who’ve been living in the area of Sacred Heart Church in downtown El Paso reacted to the deadly fire in Ciudad Juarez.
The fire occurred inside of a Mexican Immigration Detention Center, killing 40 migrants and leaving 29 others injured.
Mexico’s President Manuel Andres Lopez Obrador said the fire was started by migrants who lit mattresses after hearing they were going to be deported.
Footage from inside the detention facility showed migrants inside a cell while a fire started inside the cell. Some people outside the cell are seen leaving the building while migrants are inside.
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CBS4 spoke to Venezuelan migrants outside of Sacred Heart Church about the deadly incident.
Many migrants who have family members in Ciudad Juarez said they were devastated when they heard the news because they didn’t know if their family members were involved.
Joseline De Caires, a Venezuelan migrant said she quickly began to call her husband after she heard about the news.
“I got worried because they weren't answering my messages. I started sending messages, please report yourself, please report yourself!” she said.
Another migrant who was separated from his brother in Ciudad Juarez said he was tempted to go back to Mexico.
“It makes all of us feel uneasy because we’re all migrants and we all want to enter the U.S. and seeing that they weren’t able to make it, it’s upsetting,” Jose Alexander said.
One migrant who said he spent some time in the detention center that burned down described the place as a bad environment.
He added he’s grateful he wasn’t caught up in the fire but feels for the families who lost their loved ones.
“I give thanks to God that I wasn’t one of those victims, but I can’t imagine how their family members might feel in their home countries waiting for a response and just to then hear that your family member died, it’s very painful,” Ronal Barreto said.
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