4 families displaced after Tyler house fire

The firefighters saved a particularly special gift from the house: an engagement ring he used to propose just this morning.
Published: Dec. 23, 2022 at 7:14 AM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Four families have been displaced after a fire at a home in the 700 block of Fannin Avenue in Tyler. It has placed many people in a difficult situation just before Christmas, but there is “a bit of happiness to this bad situation”...firefighters saved an engagement ring for a proposal that was meant to happen on Christmas day.

According to Deputy Fire Marshal Randy Lee, they arrived on scene around 6:50 a.m. Friday. He said they found an active fire in the attic area. He said the original attack on the fire was unsuccessful due to voids in the attic area.

He said they are in contact with the Red Cross to try and find rooms for the displaced families. He said there were multiple children with several of the families. No injuries were reported to any of the families, but one pet was found deceased on the upper floor. The structure sustained significant damage throughout. Firefighters remained on the scene until approximately 10:30 a.m.

Lee said the frigid conditions did affect them.

“We are being affected by the ice, everything we are spraying turns to ice instantly so the ground is extremely slick, firefighters gear is all frozen so its hindering us some but not a lot,” he said.

Lee said they believe the cause of the fire will be found to be electrical. He said one of the occupants of the home awoke to their fan going off and on. They went to flip a switch on the breaker box and saw an arc shooting about three to four feet out of the box.

Two of the people affected were Robert Kemper and his girlfriend Kailey Tilton. Tilton said the first thing that went through their minds when the fire broke out was to make sure everyone was safe.

“Grab the baby and get out. Make sure everybody is out, forget our possessions and make sure everybody is alive and get out,” Tilton said.

Kemper said it’s difficult having something like this happen around Christmas, but there is a bright spot.

“It’s really hard but luckily the fire department was really great, they got all of our Christmas presents out,” he said.

Among those presents was one gift that was particularly special to Kemper and that was Tilton’s engagement ring.

“One of the main things that was important to me in those Christmas presents was her engagement ring and they actually did save it so she did get her Christmas present but she did get it the morning her house burnt down,” he said.

Tilton said having the engagement ring saved brings a bit of happiness to a bad situation.

An engagement ring was saved from a house fire in Tyler Friday. Here is the moment Robert Kemper popped the question to Kailey Tilton. .

“It feels really good to be honest because like in the midst of this chaos and this trauma, we can still find a little bit of happiness,” Tilton said.

Tilton said despite the circumstances, they still plan to enjoy Christmas.

“We’re just going to get with family and everyone understands that this is not what we planned, not at all, but we’re still going to try and make something happen, it may not be the best but with the fire department being able to pull out 90 percent of our gifts thankfully we will still be able to have a little Christmas,” Tilton said.

A Gofundme has been set up for the families after the fire. Click here if you would like to held.

Amidst a house fire in Tyler, firefighters were able to save one very special gift.