A family in Geronimo is in disbelief Tuesday after their home caught fire not once, but twice last night. Officials are now calling it a complete loss.
The first fire broke out around 6:00 PM Monday. Firefighters credited Donald Wooten's quick thinking for saving a good portion of his home, because he closed the windows, and that kept the fire from spreading. Just five hours later, though, the fire rekindled. The second time, it destroyed almost everything the family owns.
The home is still standing, but there's obvious damage. It looks salvageable from the outside, but when you walk inside, you can see immediately that's not the case.
The family said they are heartbroken and not sure what to do next. Paulette Wooten and her husband, Donald, have only lived in this house for five years, but in their short time there, they had filled it with a lifetime of memories.
She said she is still in shock, and so is her husband. He said he honestly thought it was over, and they had dodged a bullet. The original fire was contained to only one part of the house. In fact, he said they were watching TV inside another part of the house after firemen left.
"After we put out the first part of the fire, then the second part of it ignited and that's what engulfed all of this up," Donald said.
By "all of this", he means the rest of the house. The refrigerator fell through the floor. Their living room is now a pile of rummage. Ceiling fans were melted by the heat, and there's more.
One of the rooms in the house had been so damaged by smoke our you couldn't tell it had been blue. For now, the smoke has covered the walls of their hearts much in the same way. The Wootens know the damage is temporary. To help them through, they're leaning on family and friends they never knew they had.
"You really meet people that you never really knew until something like this happens," Donald said. "You just see everyone come together."