Single mother loses everything in fire - Tucson News Now

Single mother loses everything in fire


An East Texas Family needs your help. Monday a fire raced through their home causing a total loss.

It happened near the intersection of Goforth Road and the Old Gladewater Highway. Five people were staying there: a single mother with her three children and one grandchild. We spoke with family members.

Every once in a while memories reeking of smoke are unearthed.

"Football pictures my freshman year, and our newspaper," said Benny Colbert.

Benny Colbert retrieved some clothes the other day, but waited for the house to dry out before looking for other things. His sister Jessica had just come home from nursing school at Kilgore College when the fire broke out six days ago.

"I was getting dressed for work and I went to check on my great-grandmother, then I went back to get my charger and I saw the house in flames. I walked in the kitchen and it was all in flames," Jessica recalled.

She decided to call 911 from her great grandmother's house next door, not throw water on it. That turned out to be the best choice since it was an electrical fire. She and her young daughter lost everything, including new Christmas toys.

"All of her dolls, her horse, her race car track, all of it's gone," Jessica said.

They're staying at a hotel right now.

"I really don't know the plan. My mom's the one with the plan and she's at work trying to keep it together," Benny revealed.

Their mother, Melissa Colbert, works in home health care. Over a decade ago a grass fire took her first home which was a short distance away.

James Bell, their pastor, has motivated his congregation at the Greater St. John Baptist Church to help any way they can. Pastor Bell can relate since he lost all his belongings two years ago to fire.

"I think it's going to be a great journey for this family, because I feel like they are going to be able to help someone else. These kind of fire are never going to stop, you know they are just going to continue to go on in someone else's life. They will be able to help someone else go through what they are going through in this tragedy right here." Pastor Bell said.

Pastor Bell is sure the Colbert family will pay it forward.

Their home was insured, but right now they have very few personal belongings like clothes. Austin Bank has a fund set up, and if you'd like to help ask about the Colbert Fund. Or you can contact the Greater St. John Baptist Church in Kilgore.

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