Troup: Family needs help after losing home, pets in fire

Published on Saturday, 4 January 2014 21:17 - Written by By Kelly Gooch kgooch@tylerpaper.com

A Troup woman and her two daughters are working to rebuild their home and lives after a house fire.

The fire occurred Dec. 20 on North Ponsard Street.

Family friend Jessie Byrd said the dishwasher caught on fire, which demolished the kitchen and utility room. He said the entire house, where Kathy Warren lived with daughters Skyla, 14, and Emily, 11, sustained smoke and water damage, making it unlivable.

No one was injured in the fire. However, Ms. Warren, who is part of an animal rescue group called Adopt A Troup Rescue, did lose personal and rescue animals in the fire, said Melissa George, another family friend.

They included Lizzie, a Siamese cat, a dog named Sammy, Emily’s dog Rufus, and a dog named Collin. Byrd said a dog named Piper died after the fire.

“It’s the loss of her (Ms. Warren’s) longtime animals, loss of animals she was in charge of,” Ms. George said.

“She doesn’t know what she’s going to do to get her family back together and get some normalcy,” she added.

For now, though, she said Ms. Warren, who is on a fixed income, is trying to get the house rebuilt and is in need of assistance.

Byrd said Ms. Warren’s family needs lumber, siding insulation and sheetrock for rebuilding, among other things. He also cited flatware and cooking ware, as well as kitchen appliances and an electrical pole “for temporary power while rebuilding,” as needs.

He said clothing needs have been met. Additionally, Ms. George said via email that legal counsel is needed “for issues with (Ms. Warren’s) home.”

Concerning living arrangements, a FEMA trailer was donated to Ms. Warren, but it needs repairs before it can be put up, Ms. George said.

Meanwhile, Byrd said, Ms. Warren is staying in a trailer camper on the property. Ms. George said Ms. Warren is able to shower at her (Ms. George’s) sister’s house in Troup.

She said Ms. Warren has received offers to stay places, but she wants to look after animals that survived the fire and is trying to keep people from going in the burned home.

“She’s having a hard time,” Ms. George said. “She feels like she needs to be there in case.”

As far as Emily and Skyla, they are staying with Ms. George, who lives within Arp ISD.

Ms. George described Ms. Warren as someone who is “goodhearted.”

She said Ms. Warren “would give her last dollar to any of her friends” and “doesn’t expect anything in return.”

But she said her friend is overwhelmed with everything going on.

“There’s so much confusion right now. She doesn’t know what to do,” she said.

However, “even through hard times, she still pushed on. She never gave up,” Emily said of her mother.

Skyla, who lost her father last year, is also having a hard time, Ms. George said.

“They’ve lost a lot of sentimental things,” she added.

Now, Ms. George said the plan is to get the house back in livable condition.

A tragedy fund has been set up with Kilgore National Bank. Donations may be made at any Kilgore National Bank location.