Fire destroys family home, but family Bible survives the flames -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Fire destroys family home, but family Bible survives the flames

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An East Texas family lost their home in a morning fire, but they say they still have a lot to be thankful for.

Just before 10 a.m., the Lindale Fire Department was called out to a home on County Road 4116. When they got there, they say they found flames coming out of the front door. The inside of the home was destroyed, but one special family heirloom was salvaged.

"It's a total loss... I can see. It's not a good feeling even if you don't live here... just memories," says Dorothy Jones.

Dorothy has owned this home since the early '80s. Before the fire, it was home to her son and his girlfriend. The pair was at Dorothy's home, just down the street, having a post-Thanksgiving breakfast when they received a startling call from a family member.

"Next thing I know, he was calling and telling me the house was on fire," she explains.

The Lindale, Van and Mineola fire departments were able to put the fire out. Unfortunately, next to nothing inside the home was salvageable.

"I tried to get them to spray through the window where I had an antique sewing machine... antique Bible... it's all gone. Well I'm sure it's all gone," says Dorothy.

However, Dorothy was happy to learn that she was wrong. That antique Bible, their family heirloom, was damaged but not destroyed. After firefighters returned it to her, Dorothy quickly flipped to her favorite verse, Psalms 23.

"Over my years of doing this, it's really amazing; some of the time you'll get Bibles that has never been touched. Sometimes it's a photo book or family album that is perfectly clean and nothing has even touched it. It's a weird phenomenon that happens from time to time," explains Lindale firefighter and EMT Kelly Hayes.

The salvaged Bible is a phenomenon that Dorothy considers a blessing. Though, she says, the biggest blessing is that her son and his girlfriend weren't home when the destructive fire broke out.

"Angels were watching over him," she says.

The Smith County Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the cause of the fire.  The residents say they'd been experiencing some electrical problems and had to reset the circuit breaker a couple of times in the last 24-hours. They think that might be related to whatever sparked the fire.

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