Community helps Iowa Park family after tragic house fire

Neighbors sprang into action by starting a Venmo account and clothing donations
Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 10:55 PM CDT
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IOWA PARK, Texas (KAUZ) - A family that lost everything including their home in a fiery blaze Thursday night in Iowa Park is feeling nothing but love from their community.

The community support all started with a single Facebook post from the Impact Community Church in Iowa Park that the McNair’s daughter attends. In less than 24 hours, neighbors sprang into action by starting a Venmo account and clothing donations to bring just a little bit of hope to a family that has lost so much.

“We got out of the house and that was the most important part and we got our animals out so that’s what mattered most,” said Joy McNair homeowner.

Homeowners Joy and Donald McNair, along with their daughter and Donald’s father, were just about to go to sleep when their daughter started hearing strange popping noises coming from the laundry room.

“She ran, I’m assuming, into the laundry room to look and she had seen flames and she ran to let us know that the garage was on fire. We were in our room in the back part of the house and so we got up and came out and I went into the laundry room and all I could see were flames so I knew at that point we all had to get out,” said McNair.

By the time the family made it out safely, neighbors were already using the home’s garden hose to try and extinguish the growing flames, but the home was engulfed in minutes. Iowa Park Fire Chief Andy Payne believes it was caused by a breaker box in the garage.

“It’s just a freak accident I guess is what you would call it,” said Andy Payne Fire Chief of Iowa Park Fire Department.

Joy and Donald spent Friday salvaging what they could, like pictures and wallets, from what is left of their home.

“We’ll start over, we’ll just do it again and it’s okay, you know, there’s nothing in life that you can’t replace except for each other and that we don’t have to worry about,” said McNair.

Not all is lost. Steven Morrow, pastor of the Impact Community Church, said because of that Facebook post, neighbors and people the family doesn’t even know have been dropping off bags of clothing all day.

“The immediate concern was clothing because everything in the house burned down and so they could stay at a hotel or they could stay somewhere, they didn’t have anything to wear the next day. So everybody in the town started to chip in and going through their closet or going to buy socks,” said Morrow. “You look in these bags, some of this stuff is brand new.”

“Just thank you to everybody, the community, to all the churches, to everyone, the firefighters, the police department, oh my goodness, the Wichita County Sheriff’s [Office] who came out, Iowa Park Police Department, they were just amazing,” said McNair.

Joy and Donald said they have been contacted by the American Red Cross, who has offered to help them pay for shelter and food. Their home can be rebuilt, but it could take a year or longer to complete.

If you would like to make a donation to the family, click here. To make a clothing donation visit The Impact Community Church Facebook page.

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