Texoma is stepping up to help a family truly in need this Christmas.
Louis Davidson and Katy Evans are attempting to pick of the pieces after losing everything in a raging fire. Although many material possession went up in flames, the couple have found comfort with their friends. However, as the pair looks at the damage, they can't believe their loss. "It's pretty bad, I'm just overwhelmed, didn't know what to do," says Davidson.
He explains that he was with a friend when they smelled smoke. "All I could think of was get them dogs out. And I knew where the extinguisher was, and I tried to put it out but I couldn't."
Evans agrees. "It was just horrendous to see all these flames coming out and there's nothing you can do and your just kind of watching everything go up...it was horrible."
"After a while, I think, well, we got nothing. It's gone. Nothing we can do," says Davidson shaking his head.
Clay County Sheriff Kenny Lemons feels for the family. "These folks lost everything they've had, which is certainly a tragedy."
"All of it. Everything. I think we've got some clothes, knick-knacks in the back, and that's about it," says Davidson, "I had a 12 year old Chihuahua in that end of the trailer and Ii tried to get to him. And I just couldn't do it. It was just too hot and toxic. That really hurt me. I didn't care too much about that trailer, but that dog meant more to me than anything else in this world."
According to the Sheriff, the flames could have been prevented. "There was a lot of Christmas lights plugged in and a lot of cords and things like that. And a lot of times in those old trailer houses that's the way it works and that's how a lot of those houses catches fire," he explains.
Even though their home is destroyed, the family feels their situation could have been worse. "Well at least we made it through the fire. We're alive, you know, so that's the main thing it could have been worse," says Evans.
"I think we'll get it together, in time," says Davidson. "Oh yeah, it's got to get better," agrees Evans. "We have no choice. No other choice," Davidson says.
Yet, the community has tirelessly helped pick up the past and pave the way for a new life."We just ask the community, anything that they can do to help, please help," says the couple's friend Roddie Chappell. He is also the manager of Mike's Liquor #2 in Wichita Falls. The shop is accepting donations in the form of money, clothes, or furniture.
Even the Sheriff's office is helping out. "We've received several calls of folks in the area that wants to help these folks at Christmas time," says Sheriff Lemons.
To Chappell, helping the family is personal. "Anything that I ever needed help with, he would go out of his way to help me and I just want to make sure that we can do our part and repay him for the things he's done for everyone else," he says.
"There are some pretty awesome people to help us," says Evans smiling.
"You never know how many friends you have until you need them and they're everywhere...that's good. I value my friends very much, more than anything," says Davidson.
The community has come together to do many things for this family already. In fact, friends have gotten together to donate a new double wide trailer. In the meantime, the Red Cross and kind strangers have given clothes, money, and a free one week stay at the Howard Johnson - just in time to get the couple out of the cold for Christmas.
If you would like to help, the Clay County Sheriff's office is fielding calls. Contact them at (940) 538-5611.
Armstrong Automotive is also accepting donations (940) 766-0736 as is Mike's Liquor #2 (940) 767-0589.