Fire Claims Home Of East Texas Couple - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/16/04-East Texas

Fire Claims Home Of East Texas Couple

An elderly East Texas couple has lost the place they've called home for over a quarter of a century. Ed and Gene Adam's lived in a house together on County Road 137 in Flint.

After barely escaping the fire herself, Gene recounts the horror of seeing her home burning through her bedroom window.

"I thought the flood light was on but it wasn't the flood light it was fire and it was just going everywhere. I told my husband there was a fire, and to get up immediately!" says Gene Adams.

Gene helped her husband outside and ran across the street to her longtime neighbors, the Ashby's. But once there, she realized her husband, who has Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, had gone back in the burning home. Neighbor Rick Ashby decided to go in after him.

Not only did they save Ed's life, neighbors have given the Adam's everything from a place to stay to the clothes off their backs.

"I have on my neighbor's socks and my neighbor's coat. I take 12 prescriptions a day, so someone's gone to get my medicine, and someone's gone to get my glasses," says Gene.

The Ashby's say they would do anything for their neighbors, who are more like family.

"Mr. and Mrs. Adam's were the people who took my children to grandparent's day in elementary school every year. I don't know what we would be without them, I can't express to you how they're like family to us and always have been," says Leslie Ashby, the neighbor who came to their aid in the early morning hours that the fire broke out.

Although they lost everything, the Adam's are grateful they saved the most precious thing from the fire-- each other.

"We've overcome lots of things in our 58 years of marriage, so we will overcome this, I know we will," says Gene.

Smith County Fire Officials say they'll have to wait until tomorrow for the embers to cool enough for them to continue their investigation.

Ed and Gene do have insurance and plan to rebuild in the same spot. They will be staying with their neighbors, the Ashby's for now.

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