Family of eight homeless after house fire - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

SMITH COUNTY (KLTV)

Family of eight homeless after house fire

Fire destroys the home of a Bullard family of 8 - it happened late last night on the corner of John Cowan Road and Saline Drive - near Lake Palestine. Fire crews arrived shortly before midnight last night. The old wood frame house was engulfed after an electric blanket shorted, and caught fire. Today, members of the family were back at the house, grateful to be able to salvage what they could.

"My son came running in the bedroom....fire, Daddy, fire....and I jumped up, run in there, and the electric blanket was on fire on top of my grandbabies," said David Stephens.

Stephens says that's when he jerked his grandkids - twins - out of the bed, ran out of the house, and grabbed the water hose.

"I held it down as long as I could, but then it got so hot, I had to get away from the house," said Stephens.

"I tried to go in the house...but it was just too much smoke...I couldn't go in there."

It took crews from three departments to finally put the fire out. It spread quickly through the old wood frame house, where 8 people called home.

"The twins are five, then I have a 12 year old daughter...14 year old son, 20 year old son, and 21 year old daughter."

One of them is a Bullard volunteer firefighter.

David Elvin Stephens says he never would have guessed he'd have to fight to save is his own home.

"All momma could holler was my dogs are still there...the dogs are still in. The firefighter kicked in and I crawled through the window and grabbed my dogs and got right back out," said David.

Today, Mocha and Budreax are safe, with the family salvaging what they can.

"We're country boys out here...all the guns that have been passed down from great grandparents...all that, they're gone, just priceless things," said Stephens.

Grateful for one thing: "All this can be replaced, my kids can't...my family can't."

We're told the house was paid for, but was not insured.

The Bullard Fire Department is now accepting donations on the family's behalf. No other injuries were reported.

Layron Livingston, reporting. llivingston@kltv.com

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