Fire Leaves Smith County Family Without A Home - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/4/04- Near Arp

Fire Leaves Smith County Family Without A Home

In the midst of soot and still smoldering embers, the Burks family searches for any remaining pieces of the lives they built in the home that now lies in ruin.
"Me and my husband, my grandbaby and my kids that all lived here, this is my home," says homeowner Bonnie Burks. "This has been my home since I was fourteen years old and I don't have nothing."
Their search turns up very little. The fire gutted the house. Damage is estimated at almost $56,000. A big sum for a family that has lost everything.
The help of strangers has made a big impact on the family.
"There was a lady come by, that we don't know, have no idea who she was," says Ronnie Burks. "She came up and told my wife about an incident in 2000. Her house had burnt down, and she had made a promise then to the Lord, anybody she had seen or anybody that she passed by and that their home had burnt down, she would do the best she could to help them. She handed my wife $20, and $20 right now is like a million."
A fire proof safe,a ceramic dish set Bonnie gave her granddaughter for Christmas, and her mother-in-laws Bible, were somehow spared from the flames.
Fire officials believe the fire started in the attic and suspect faulty wiring as the cause.
The Burks are looking to their faith in God for an answer as to how this happened.
"It's hard I can't understand why," Ronnie says. "I'm sure in the future I'll understand why, and I leave it in His hands."
The question now moves from why, to what next? An uncertain future but one with the hope that little Bonnie's granddaughter can start a new teddy bear collection in a new home.
 "We'll come back," Ronnie says. "It may be slow, but we'll make it back."
Since the family had no insurance a fund has been set up in their name. You can make a donation to the Burks family at the Arp State Bank. Until they get back on their feet, the family says they will be staying with relatives.

Story by Maya Golden,

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