Fire destroys New Deal home and family's Christmas presents - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/15/09

Fire destroys New Deal home and family's Christmas presents

By Ann Wyatt Little  - bio | email

Lubbock, TX (KCBD) – After losing almost everything in a morning fire, a New Deal family says they will start to pick up the pieces when the sun comes up Wednesday morning. The blaze started around 11:30 a.m. and destroyed their belongings including their Christmas presents.

It took firefighters from New Deal, Abernathy and Shallowater about an hour to fight the fire.

Losing everything is tough no matter what time of the year it happens but this close to Christmas makes the Waits family especially thankful for just that, their family.

"When they told me my house was on fire, you can't imagine. You wonder what's going to be there and what's going to be left," said Lisa Waits hours after most everything was destroyed inside her home. "Lots of things were destroyed. Pictures are gone and so are the little things with memories. I have 12 grandchildren so I had their Christmas in the house so it's not a good thing," adds Waits.

"It's tough to see the house like this. It has the outside brick wall but it is all gone inside," says Angela Waits, Lisa's daughter who is visiting from North Carolina.

The fire started when no one was home. Neighbors called 911 at the first sign of smoke. The only thing saved was the garage. "We're thankful it was during the day. We could have been asleep and never woken up," says Waits.

"My husband is deployed to Afghanistan and I didn't want to be alone for holidays. We had been remodeling and my Christmas gift to my mom was to come in and finish laying the tile," says Angela about her family's loss.

As the sun set on this tragic day, the Waits got a gift. "He was great help. He showed up with that red jacket on and was our version of Santa today," said Angela Waits about the Red Cross who helped take care of the family's immediate emergency needs.

Generations of physical memories were gone in seconds, but the family says they will start over and at least they have each other this Christmas. "It's been a tough year. I'm ready for a new one to start already. We thank God no matter what he takes away he gives back to us," says Waits.

Investigators were unable to determine exactly what started this blaze. They do know it was unintentional.

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