The day started out as an unusually warm spring day in Newcastle, but by the time the cool rain came later that afternoon, Heather Davis and her family’s lives would change drastically.
On Monday, April 21, the Davis’ home caught fire while Heather and Jon, her husband of 11 years, were picking their children up from school. The fire gutted the house, melting its mid-section, bowing in all the doors and even melting the windows. By the time the family arrived back to their residence, flames had ripped through the home and were jutting out on both ends.
“The roof caved in … and the fire fighters said if someone had been the house, there would have been no way for them to get out,” Davis said. “The fire went through the entire house.”
The family is grateful that everyone was safely away when the fire occurred. Even their dog – a rescued Lhasa Apso named Cooper – survived after being trapped inside the garage during the fire, and that is what is important, she said. Though, Davis suspects the fire had started while she and Jon, an Oklahoma City Firefighter, were still in the home. The official time of the fire was recorded as 2:30 p.m., around the time they left to pick up their kids.
“It was an electrical fire. A squirrel may have chewed through wiring in the attic,” she said. “
Though the family lost everything in the fire, they are coping well, Davis said. Jon initially struggled with the role reversal of being a firefighter and a fire victim, but primarily because he could not help put the flames out as he watched them engulf his home.
The children, daughter McKinzie, 9, and son Kendall, 8, exhibited anxiety at first but were comforted once donations began to trickle into the family.
“The first day or so, when they realized they lost everything, they were really panicked, but when the donations started they realized they were going to have something to hold onto at night,” Davis said.
The family is grateful for everything that has been sent their way, anything from clothes and toys donated by family friends and Kendall’s baseball team. However, they haven’t been able to utilize everything because some of the clothes do not fit, and they will gladly accept all donations.
The family has been staying in a spare domicile behind Jon’s parents’ house in Newcastle,
As for Davis herself, she is also coping with the stress of it all. Staying busy with the Newcastle PTO – having just been elected secretary this past Monday night – but she sometimes experiences insomnia because of the fire.
“It’s been hard,” she said. “I haven’t been eating very much, and my brain just won’t shut off, but I’m hoping it’s going to calm down soon.”
Although the family lost everything in the fire, Davis found comfort soon after the rain that day, when the weather cleared and a rainbow appeared in the sky.
“I remember thinking, ‘okay, there’s a promise from God.’ We are going to be fine,” she said. “It was definitely needed.”