Couple Gets Keys To Newly-Rebuilt Home - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/21/07-Tyler

Couple Gets Keys To Newly-Rebuilt Home

Their house of 17 years was destroyed in a fire, causing them to lose everything inside.  With no insurance, and no one to turn to, an East Texas couple was left helpless. That is, until the city of Tyler and dozens of other organizations came together to help. Friday was the brand new home was dedicated to its proud owners.

Johnie Jefferson, 80, was all smiles as the key to his newly-reconstructed home was finally placed in his hand. Inside, his wife, Pearl, who's bedridden, was resting in her brand new bedroom.

It's hard to believe that just four months ago there was in shambles, burned in a fire.

"We were in one room and it started burning. I told my baby girl, the house is on fire," says Pearl Jefferson.

They were lucky no one was hurt, but scared their home was gone so they turned to the city for help.

"PATH hooked us up with Mission Tyler and from there it just went crazy, we all got together ironed, mapped out what each of us could do," says Jo Carroll with the City of Tyler's Neighborhood Services.

And before anyone knew it, the house was being completely redone.  

"We have a miracle that came about...they have the new paint, the new appliances, insulation, the new flooring and everything, and so it's great," says granddaughter Linda Williams.

Volunteers worked day in and day out to get the house finished. 

"Finally getting to put a face with a name was really good, Mrs. Pearl was just so nice she's such a sweet lady and just meeting her was just a great opportunity," says volunteer Molly Oden.

Now everyone, especially the Jefferson's, are proud of the work.

"This is Merry Christmas a hundred times over for everyone working on this project if you could have seen the before shots and how much damage, debris was in the home from the fire," Jo explains.

And Mr. Jefferson says now his home truly feels like... "home sweet home."

The home rebuild was made possible through the City's emergency assistance program, PATH, Mission Tyler, and other organizations and donors.

Tracy Watler, Reporting tracy@kltv.com

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