Fire Destroys Family Of Five's New Home - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/26/03 - East Mountain

Fire Destroys Family Of Five's New Home

An early morning fire Monday has left a family of 5 without a home.

The fire started around 4 o'clock in the morning. Fortunately the woman inside, woke up and was able to save herself and her 3 children.

The family had just moved to east Texas 2 weeks ago, now they're forced to start all over.

Tracy Builta began her day meeting with an insurance adjuster. She's trying to rebuild what her family lost all while she relives the nightmare that took it.

"I started screaming at my boyfriend and I was like, 'Joe somebody trying to break in the house.' He came up out of the bed and he said 'no the house is on fire,'" says Tracy Builta.

Tracy ran down the hall where her three children were sound asleep.

"I grabbed my two sons out of their beds and I grabbed my little girl. I ran out and got them in my truck. That's all we got was my kids. My kids had on their t-shirts and their underwear and they had their blankies and that's cause they were sleeping in them."

It took East Mountain's volunteer fire department five hours to put the fire out. The culprit was an electrical problem in the master bathroom. The smoke detector didn't immediately go off. What woke Tracy up was the noise from her lawn mower.

"Once the fire got to it the gas tank on the lawn mower blew up. That's what woke me up was the lawn mower blowing up."

It's the second time in just a few months this family was saved from a near disaster. In May, while living in Oklahoma, the family survived a serious tornado that destroyed homes just across the street.

"It's like I told my kids, we can replace anything but mommy can't replace you guys."

Right now Tracy and her family is staying with her sister but they're looking for a new place to live. Also a fund has been set up at the "East Texas Professional Credit Union" in Longview. You can make a donation in Tracy Builta's name or you can use her mother's name, Sharon Burns.

Amy Tatum reporting.

Powered by Frankly