A family holiday gathering turns into a tragic loss , and family members scrambling to escape a house fire. It happened Saturday night at a home in the 64-hundred block of highway 259 south, between Kilgore and Henderson in Rusk county. Mark Dheil had just had a family holiday party at his home, when his grandson Emmett alerted he and his wife to trouble in a back room.
"He looks at me and goes 'Nema what's happening', and we looked in there and everything was on fire," said Jeanene Dheil.
In seconds one end of the house was an inferno. Mark suffered burns getting his family out.
"We was grabbing the kids hollering get out and getting outside," Jeanene says.
Outside, the realization that everything was gone.
"You always think this happens to somebody else, never happens to you," Mark says.
"Had to watch the whole house burn down, this was my grandmothers house," says Jeanene.
For the family the reality of what happened here didn't really set in , until the following morning.
"Get up and brush your teeth, and then it sunk in, we don't even have a toothbrush," says Mark.
The fire was apparently started by an overloaded extension cord. They've tried to salvage what little survived the fire, and salvage their holiday spirit.
"I'm here, my family's here, you can't ask for better than that, and I'm sorry it takes something like this to realize that," Mark says.
Relief accounts have been set up for the Dheil family at any 'Bank Corp South' and at Austin bank in Gladewater. Right now their church is putting them up in a Longview hotel. The Dheil's were not insured.
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