Albuquerque teenager dies in home fireplace

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – A “hero”. This is how family and friends remember 17-year-old Xaven Garcia. The Albuquerque teenager died this week after running into his house, which was on fire to make sure his family was safe.

Garcia saved his father after waking up in his house filled with flames late Sunday night. Now, with his final wish to donate his organs, he will save many other people.

“He’s a hero to all of us,” said Phil Garcia, Xaven’s father. “He saved me.”

Not many people would go back to a burning house, but 17-year-old Xaven did and saved his family. While he was losing his life, his mission to save more lives does not end.

“He got his license this week, actually Friday, and wanted to be a donor,” said Phil. “He asked me about it. I told him, ‘Yeah, that’s a great thing.’ ”But his father never expected Xaven to donate his organs just days later when a heater fired in the family home near Indian School and Rio Grande caught.

“I just woke up when he yelled at me, ‘Dad, get out of here. The house is burning.’ He grabbed me and pulled me outside and my breath caught from the smoke in the house, “said Phil.

When Xaven realized that his sister might already be home from her late shift and didn’t know what time it was, Xaven ran back. However, he never came out again.

“I told him to stay out of here. I ran in to check out her room. That was a big no-no, I almost got stuck in it. I guess he ran back and the neighbor saw him go in and yelled at him not to go in, “said Phil.” The fire department probably found him for 20 minutes … he was in the smoke for 20 to 30 minutes. When they took him out, he was as good as gone. “

In the days since then, waiting for a sign of hope while he was life sustaining has been a nightmare. His stepmother, Stacey, was at Mountainair at the time and only spoke to him an hour earlier.

“The last words were, ‘I love you, mom,’” Stacey recalls. “That was the last time I saw him.”

The doctors declared his death on Tuesday afternoon. His parents now look back on his last heroic act of donating his organs. “To give another person a life, he does it for them,” said Phil. “I think that’s the ultimate path. That’s a real hero. “

The Valley High School senior loved skateboarding, computers, and family. Loved ones hope that his inheritance of selflessness is what people remember him for.

“Helping people anyway, you know, it’s just a blessing,” said Stacey. “Make us proud.”

In the coming days, the UNM Hospital, his family and hospital staff will host an “honor walk” for Xaven while he is escorted to the operating room for organ donation. Early Tuesday, Valley High School staff mailed his parents a letter informing them of his death. You will have grief counselors at school for the next few days.

Albuquerque teenager Xaven Garcia died today after running into a burning house to make sure his family was safe. Now, with his final wish to donate his organs, he will save many other people. We hear from his parents tonight on @krqe at 10.

– Jami Seymore (@JamiSeymore) November 17, 2021

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