With a flash, part of an East Texas family's legacy is gone

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - A burned out shell is all that remains of a charming old country home built in 1918 - a home that the Campbell family lived in for 91 years.

"It means everything," said Tessie Campbell. "I can remember being here when I was young growing up, and then we had children and we raised them here."

Officials say a scorched tree nearby indicates lightning started the fire.

"It's my heart," said Tessie. "The house is gone now."

Five generations of Tessie Campbell's family have lived in the home. It's a home that holds generations of birthdays, family gatherings and good times.

"[It] broke my heart," said Don Campbell. "I brought both of my children home to this place. My wife's granny and grandpa and her mom and dad, they all lived here. This whole house had a family in each room."

The Campbells had been renting out the home, hoping to use the money to renovate it.

"We were really looking forward to fixing it back up," said Don. "I miss it already."

Now, all they have are pictures.

"There's a little part of me over here that's gone," said Don.

The home was uninsured, but the Campbells say they are committed to re-building the place, one board at a time if they have to.

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