A local disabled military veteran gave up his dream of going to Comic-Con so he can be a real-life super hero.
"I'm a geek! I've always wanted to go to Comic-Con," Mike Ellis said with a big grin.
Ellis wishes he could do more for his younger brother Mark, saying, "It breaks my heart. It absolutely breaks my heart."
On Monday, a propane tank exploded at Mark's home in Texas. The blast leveled the home, killed the family dog, destroyed the family's van and medical supplies for Mark's autistic son Ashton.
"The day of the fire was his birthday," Ellis added. "That's awful ? that's pretty awful."
The list went on.
"My mother passed away this year, and he had all of her possessions," he explained.
Everything to remember her by was reduced to rubble.
"I mean, they were in their nightclothes, and so everything but what they had on their backs is gone," Ellis said.
He immediately emptied his own closet and mailed most of his clothes. He plans to drive his truck out to give to them. He also sent as much money as he could, including the $1,200 he and his fianc saved for what was supposed to be his first trip to Comic-Con.
"It breaks my heart to think about them feeling the same things I felt when I was a child," Ellis said.
He learned about loss at age five.
"You could hear crackling," he explained. "And all of the sudden there was this intense heat."
He was asleep, and he heard it before he saw it. He opened his eyes and saw the fire eat through his toys and clothes. He got his mom and big brother out, then went back for his baby brother.
"The roof had collapsed, and we couldn't get to Kevin," he said. "We could hear him screaming, we could hear him crying and then that was it ? It was shortly before his third birthday."
Ellis hates that he could not save Kevin.
"That's probably what led me to be a corpsman," he added.
It may have also been what led him to help his brother, who made it out of this week's fire.
The family did not have insurance, so Ellis created a GoFundMe page to help them.