Fire Leaves Family Homeless

An overnight fire has an East Texas family searching for a new place to call home.

The fire broke out around 3 a.m. Monday at a home at 310 Hollis St. in Troup. A charred shell is all that remains of Shunja Jiles' home. For 12 years, she and her three children have lived in the three bedroom trailer, but early Monday morning their home was destroyed by fire.

"I smelt the smoke and I woke up and I got up and went into the front room and it was already blazed up," said Jiles.

Shunja said the fire started in the living room, leaving her just seconds to wake up her daughter and get out of the house.

"I hollered for my daughter and she came out and I moved my car over that way to try and save it and that was it."

The family lost everything, furniture, clothes, even family pictures. It's still tough for Shunja to think about.

"It hurts but most of all I thank God that he was able to save our family because if it wasn't for the Lord waking me up, me and her both could still be in there."

Standing over all that was lost, this mother understands what she still has.

"Saving our lives, that's the positive thing. I can always replace material things, but you can't get another life."

It's a life this family has already begun putting back together.

The Jiles family was renting the house, but lost all personal possessions in the fire. If you would like to help them out an account has been set-up in their name. You can donate to any Austin Bank location, just tell them you would like to donate to the "Jiles Fire Fund". You can also call the bank's Troup location at 903-842-3188.

Chris Gibson, reporting