Fire Destroys Home & All Belongings - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/21/2007-Smith Co.

Fire Destroys Home & All Belongings

A frantic call to an East Texas man. His wife narrowly escaped a fire that destroyed everything they own.

The fire started near Gladewater on Highway 271 North at County Road 374. KLTV was at the scene, where one good Samaritan stopped to help. But sadly, it was too late.

Charles Frances built a house with his own hands just over 20 years ago within a few hours Friday morning it was gone.

"I can't believe this I cant believe this," said Charles.

Disbelief and agony because everything they owned inside was now ashes

"It's Christmas time. There is nothing I can do. I don't have anything. We lost everything," said Charles.

Charles does part time landscape work and Stacey only works one day a week. Friday morning was the last day of his job when his home caught fire.

Charles and his wife Stacey don't have electricity or gas and use candles for both light and heat. Stacey told us even though she thought she had blown out all the candles, she apparently forgot one.

"I woke up to flames inside the back of the house where the candle was burning," said Stacey Garcia, "I was scared and crazy. I was wanting to save our home because this is all we have to our name."

"I just thank God that she got out that is the main thing," said Charles, "Glad she got out. If something happened to her I don't know what I would do."

Even as Stacey was calling for help, help was driving by.

 "A passerby noticed the flames. He stopped got his fire extinguisher rushed in to try to help put the fire out but the fire extinguisher couldn't put the fire out because it had already gotten to the ceiling and the attic space," said Smith County Assistant Fire Marshal Marilyn Wilson.

Four volunteer fire departments then arrived, putting out the 3-alarm fire within an hour.

"I just don't know. I just hope someone can help you know. Anybody," said Charles, "I need it I really do need it."

Fire Marshal's say the Red Cross with help the family with some immediate needs like clothing and food, but they didn't have insurance and are now starting over just days before Christmas.

"We are in need of clothes, money, anything that can get us where we need to be.  If anybody can just help us," said Stacey.

A tragedy fund was set up at the Texas Bank and Trust in Gladewater. The account is in the name of Ella Sublet on behalf of Charles Frances.

Danielle Capper, Reporting.


Powered by Frankly