WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- For years, a Westminster Pastor lived across the street from the school that collapsed in the Mexico City Earthquake, trapping children inside. Now, he is starting a fund for earthquake relief efforts.
"This is the house we lived in until 2005," said Ryan Thomas, pointing to a Google maps image of the home his young family lived in for years before moving back to the United States. "So here's the house, and if you look down the street, this is the school right there. We used to watch parents picking up their kids from that school. My kids probably would have gone to that school."
The earthquake hit so close to his old home and brought other memories -- when he was a small child and his family had just moved to Mexico City before the 1985 quake.
"The whole city just smelled like death, and to be honest, it affected me for years," he said. "I had nightmares about earthquakes for a long time."
Now, Thomas is a missions and Spanish Pastor at Victory Church in Westminster, where he is opening a fund to help with earthquake recovery efforts.
His Facebook feed is filled with images of his friends in Mexico City rushing to help others, and he hopes he can help, too.
"We see the images on TV, and we'll distance ourselves from it, but we shouldn't," he said. "And with something like this, it becomes very real."