The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

November 14, 2013

Fire destroys home in county

Palestine Herald-Press


A late night fire destroyed a double-wide mobile home Tuesday on Texas 294, leaving a family of six without a home.

Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor said a deputy received a report about the fire at 9:08 p.m. and when he arrived on the scene at 9817 Texas 294 West, the home was fully engulfed.

“Elkhart, Southside, Tucker and Westside volunteer fire departments worked the fire,” Taylor said. “It was a total loss.”

The home was occupied by Shannon Murray and her four children ranging in age from 4 to 10 and her mother, Brenda Murray. No one was in the home at the time of the fire.

“It's hard, very hard,” Shannon Murray told the Herald-Press Wednesday about dealing with the loss of her home and their possessions. “The kids are coping with the fact that they don't have clothes or anything, but they are dealing with it pretty good for their age.”

According to the mother of four, she was at work at Walmart Supercenter at the time of the fire, while her mother and children were next door at her grandmother's home, where they had just finished eating.

“My mother had made a fire in the fireplace. We had recently had the roof redone on the mobile home. It had been raining inside of the fireplace, so when it was redone a plastic piece was put on top of the fireplace,” Shannon Murray said. “She noticed it was smoky in the house but she thought it was because of the wood she was using. We have used the fireplace for years, but this was the first time we had used it this year since the roof had been repaired.”

Her mother had just gone inside the home to get her cup and then returned next door to join the other family members.

“My sister stepped outside of my grandmother's house and saw the fire burning from the roof and immediately called 911,” Shannon Murray said.

Currently, the family is staying next door with relatives but they hope to find their own place soon. The Anderson County chapter of the American Red Cross did make contact with the family on Wednesday.

There was no insurance on the late 1980s double-wide mobile home owned by the family or the home's contents.

The family is in need of clothing and household items. There are three girls ages 7, 9 and 10 and one boy, age 4. The girls wear size 8, 12 and 16 shirts and pants, and size 3 and 7 in shoes. The boy wears size 5T in shirts and pants and 13 in shoes. Their mother wears size 16 pants, X-large shirts and 8 ½ in shoes. Brenda Murray wears size 10-12 pants, large shirts and 5 ½ in shoes.

“We could use pillows, sheets, blankets, coats, dishes — anything, we lost it all,” Shannon Murray said.

Donations can be dropped off at Grace United Methodist Church, located at 1918 E. Murchison St. behind Trinity Valley Pools & Spa.

According to the sheriff, investigator Bill Yearout will conduct the investigation as to the official cause of the fire.

For more information on how to help the family, call Shannon Murray, Brenda Murray or Lily Murray at 903-538-0166.