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East Texas firefighters save Christmas for Hughes Springs fire victims

Seven families were left homeless after a fire destroyed eight units at the Patman Switch...
Seven families were left homeless after a fire destroyed eight units at the Patman Switch apartment complex in Hughes Springs. (Source: KLTV Staff)(KLTV Staff)
Published: Dec. 26, 2021 at 6:28 PM CST
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CASS COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - A devastating fire at an East Texas apartment section left 7 families with children, with a gloomy outlook for Christmas.

But their plight was not forgotten by their community and East Texas firefighters, who came to the rescue in a different way.

A roaring blaze greeted firefighters on the morning of December 22nd, as 8 apartments were engulfed at the ‘Patman Switch’ complex in Hughes Springs.

“It was totally devastating to watch. Those families work really hard to build a life and make a place feel like home. Some had been there years. One of the tenants told me ‘man I just really got it to feel like home, and not everything is gone,” said Crossroads-Cornett firefighter Morgan Fritts.

Units from Daingerfield, Linden, Avinger and Crossroads, pitched in with Hughes Springs, to try to save the structure.

7 families living in the units escaped unharmed, but lost all they had.

The Fritts would not let that be the end of it.

“While we were battling the fire, Crossroads, a member of our department was walking to the families and asking what they needed,” said husband and fellow firefighter Robert Fritts.

“We have an amazing community. We didn’t even have the fire all the way out yet before they we’re asking where can we donate. We have to make sure the kids have Christmas. We got so many donations we actually had to say ‘hey we’re good on clothes,” Morgan says.

Pooling every resource they had, they rescued Christmas.

On Saturday, the families children were given presents at the Hughes Springs fire department.

“It was a blessing to be there and see the kids get the gifts that the community donated. We also brought our two boys with us to show them what it’s like to lose everything and this is what we’re giving back to them,” says Robert.

Firefighters come to the rescue once again.

“It’s a different feeling being there as a firefighter, but as a person that cares. If someone is in need, we’re going to fulfill that need,” Morgan says.

Some of the families that could not be at the Hughes Springs fire department on Saturday, will have their presents and other donated items given to them on their return.

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