San Diego

Fire Victims' Mother Thanks Crews for ‘Getting to My Babies So Quickly'

Classmates of Cristos and Bella Lopez brought flowers as they mourned the loss of the young siblings killed in the Oct. 28 fire.

On the day of the memorial for two San Diego children killed when their home caught fire, their grief-stricken mother thanked the firefighters who pulled her children from the burning apartment.

"Thank you so much for getting to my babies so quickly," Nikia Lopez said during Friday's memorial service at Grace Point Church. "I was still able to identify them. I was still able to look at them." 

Lopez also thanked the tiniest of mourners sitting in the church– her children’s classmates from Sunset Hills Elementary School.

“I am so sorry. I apologize so much this is on your hearts,” Lopez said. “I prayed every night I could take the pain away from your hearts.”

Friends of Cristos and Bella Lopez brought flowers as they mourned the loss of the young siblings killed in the Oct. 28 fire. 

Cristos, 10, a 5th grader, dreamed of growing up to be a professional basketball player or a banker.

He was shy because he stuttered but his friends at school made a difference in him, his mother said.

Bella, a 2nd grader, loved to dance and do gymnastics. However, she was a compassionate spirit who, despite her young age, showed caring during her mother's cancer battle.

"It was so unfair," Lopez said referring to Bella's Pre-K year when dealing with tumors and illnesses took so much time away from her daughter.

"You did all the stuff a grownup would do," she said to Bella. "I appreciate you for that."

Lopez spoke to her son at the service, thanking him for waiting until she could be at his bedside and hold his hand before he passed.

"You let go and you went," she said through tears. 

Now, Nikia Lopez said she is leaning on God's understanding to cope with the loss of her children and be there for her older daughters who were in the front pew. 

"I cannot describe the pain that I've been going through," she said. "I have two more. I'm not going anywhere." 

The children’s father, Lopez’s ex-husband, who was in the apartment at the time of the fire was still in a medically-induced coma.

He had allegedly threatened to burn down the family's home weeks before the fire that killed his children, according to court documents.

In a temporary restraining order obtained by NBC 7, Nikia Lopez said her husband texted her, "I will burn all of this (expletive) down" in a conversation about a missing mortgage payment.

In the request for the temporary restraining order, granted on Sept. 18, Nikia also said her estranged husband had an issue with alcohol abuse.

The origin of the fire is still under investigation.

San Diego police say the court documents do not make the father, who has not been identified, a suspect.

However, the records are part of the investigation.

Lopez spent time during the ceremony to thank individual children and teachers at her children's school for their support and their friendship. 

At one point she invited classmates of her children to join her as they danced to "Move (Keep Walkin’)" by TobyMac.

"I know your heart been broke again
I know your prayers ain’t been answered yet
I know you’re feeling like you got nothing left
Well, lift your head, it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet so

Move, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on
Move, keep walkin’ until the mornin’ comes
Move, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on
And lift your head, it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet"

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