COMBES — A heater or fireplace might have sparked a house fire in which a 34-year-old man died, Police Chief Patrick Quill said Wednesday.

State fire marshals continue to investigate the Monday night blaze that killed Mark Anthony Silva, a security guard, father of four children and brother of two firefighters. He was alone at 203 Holland St. at about 11:15 p.m. when the fire broke out, Combes officials said.

“It appears it was accidental, either from a heater or fireplace,” Quill said. “Both looked like they were running in the evening. Right now, it’s still under investigation.”

Harlingen firefighters found the house “fully engulfed in flames,” with Silva’s body near a front door hallway, Quill said.

There were no other injuries, he said.

“The fire was contained to the one residence and did not spread to other homes,” he said.

Quill said the blaze gutted the house.

“It’s a total loss in the inside of the house,” he said.

Officials with the state Fire Marshal’s Office and Harlingen fire marshals are investigation the case, he said.


Meanwhile, the Brownsville Firefighters Association is raising money to help cover Silva’s funeral expenses and care for his four children.

The GoFundMe fundraiser’s goal is set at $5,000.

Silva’s brother Caleb serves as a Brownsville firefighter while his brother Josue works as a San Benito firefighter.

“We would like to pass along our deepest condolences to the Silva family,” the Brownsville Firefighters Association posted on its Facebook page. “Mark leaves behind a wife and four kids who now, somehow, have to get through the Christmas season without him. Any donations, page shares or prayers would be greatly appreciated.”