Fire victim: "You know God was here"

By Sara Story - bio | email

CHANDLER, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas family of four lost everything in a fire that destroyed their home. The blaze happened last week on the 900 block of Pecan Ridge in Chandler. This comes just days before the holidays, and Monday, the family's teenagers told KLTV they watched the flames destroy everything they own.

The Couey family said last Monday started like any normal day, but it turned tragic when a fire destroyed their home and everything inside.

"My principal called us in and said, 'Your house is burned down,' and I didn't believe him at all. I just stared at him like he was crazy," Leigha Couey said.

"My heart sank and dropped. I didn't feel anything. I just wanted to make sure my dad was ok," Brandon Couey said.

Brandon and Leigha Couey's dad, Craig, was asleep on the couch when the fire started.

"We got my brother out of school and came here. There was firefighters everywhere, and there was ambulances. You couldn't see down the street. We just saw smoke coming out of our house. It was horrible," Leigha said.

Craig Couey made it out of the house but spent two days in the hospital, recovering from Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Monday, the teenagers walked through the debris.

"There's just nothing left of it at all," Leigha said.

The fire claimed everything, including two pet cats. Brandon says the flames started in his parent's bedroom. Inspectors told him it was an electrical fire that started by a ceiling fan.

"I never thought this would happen in a million years. It never crossed my mind," Brandon said.

As the Coueys surveyed the damage, they found a white cross on the walls destroyed by smoke and ash.

"It's completely white, and it's just completely crazy, because that's how you know God was here," Leigha said.

The Couey's were renting the house and do have renter's insurance, but they said it will not cover all of the damages. If you would like to help out the Couey family, a tragedy has been set up at Citizens State Bank under the name "Craig and Crystal Couey".

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