Family's home burns while at Friday night football - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Family's home burns while at Friday night football

LONGVIEW,TX (KLTV)- A space heater may be to blame for claiming an East Texas family's home in a fire Friday night. The fire started around 11:00 at a home in the 600 block of Gum Street in Longview. While Valencia Samples and her family were in Tyler to see the Longview Tyler-Lee game, their home was burning down.

"Actually, we were called and told it was on fire on the way home. Thank God that my kids weren't in there, that was my first thought," Samples said.

Fire officials said the fire was started by a space heater, and it totally destroyed the home and all the families belongings. Samples mother Dorothy Blanton, who also survived a house fire, has tried to console her daughter.

"I tell her, 'Kid, we [went] through this in 1993 and we're still standing. God is good, and you can always replace material things, but you can't replace a life'," Blanton said.

The family remains remarkably cheerful.

"Don't worry about what we had. God's going to bless us with more. Just be grateful that you're alive," Valencia said.

Valencia wants nothing for herself, but cares for her children's immediate needs.

"My daughter needs some clothes, and my son needs some clothes and shoes," she said.

And for this family, faith must prevail.

"There's no one with their head down, everybody's looking up," Blanton said.

The family has established a relief fund at Texas Bank and Trust under the name of Jackie and Valencia Samples.

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