Fire Claims Ore City Home - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/11/07-Longview

Fire Claims Ore City Home

     An East Texas family starts off 2007 coming home to find their house in ashes. The house fire was just east of Ore city on Jaguar Road in Marion County.

   "This wasn't going to happen to me there's no way this would happen to me is what I always thought. We built it from the ground up all by ourselves" said homeowner Karen Cowles.

    The joy of the holidays and the hope of the new year have given way to sadness for the Cowles family, who lost everything in a Wednesday morning fire.

       "I've spent two days trying to think of what it would cost to try to replace it, and there's no money amount on it" says Cowles.

       A wood burning stove is thought to have sparked the blaze while everyone was out. Two pets died in it, others were injured. Neighbors who saw it say the home was an inferno within seconds.

   "When I walked out the door yesterday morning and looked across the street I had the emptiest feeling because all I could think was that could be my house instead off hers" said neighbor Stan McCormick.  

    Miss Cowles normally would have been home at the time but an early morning doctors appointment got her out of the house shortly before the fire started. But it's small consolation for losing everything.

     "I miss my my shoes my clothes my pictures little things like that" said Cowles daughter in law, Rachael White.

      But through the ashes there's hope,  their neighbors are feeding and housing them to give them a chance to start again.

     "You've got neighbors and friends that will help you when things like this happen"says McCormick.

    For now, the Cowles are just glad to be alive and to have friends who care about them. Neighbors have donated a trailer home for the Cowles family to stay in.  If you'd like to help, a relief fund, in the name of Karen Cowles, has been set up at security state bank in Ore City.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting bhallmark@kltv.com 

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