Fire takes everything from Wichita Falls woman

Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 6:25 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - A house fire on Sunday has a longtime Wichita Falls resident wondering what to do next.

Cora James, a pillar in her community and a lifesaver to many of her neighbors, experienced something we all hope to never go through. She left her home Sunday around 2 p.m. and come home to discover it was on fire.

“When I got back into the driveway, I can see smoke coming from the very back...all along the backside of my trailer,” said James.

James lived in her home for 30 years before it caught on fire.

“No fire, no flames yet, just smoke,” said James. “I just got outta the car and I ran through the yard and unlocked the door and I tried to get in the house to get the baby goat and it was black, solid black in there, and you couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t see nothing.”

James’ daughter said her mother was in the midst of volunteering to help with a baby goat, something she always does.

“My mother took the baby and one of the babies that couldn’t walk or anything, my mother had nursed it back to where it was following her in the house,” said Lois Cuzick. “She bottle feeds them in the house and keeps them in the house until they’re old enough to put out.”

James said her home was gone in a matter of minutes.

“And it was within 20 minutes time and I didn’t smell any smoke,” said James. “I didn’t leave nothing running, nothing during that time, nothing on,” said James.

It was in this house Cuzick said her mother cared for the goats. And the community knows her as “Goat Lady.”

“If they need anything, if anything is wrong with their goats or anything, they call her first before they call a vet,” said Cuzick.

Although everything is destroyed, James is holding onto hope.

“I’m hoping I can get back on my property but I have no money, no insurance was on the home, I have no money,” said James. “I live from one social security check to the next and am barely making it then.”

As of right now, James is still in shock and the inspectors are still trying to figure out how her home caught fire. The fire department warned her that everything is damaged.

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