All that remains of a mobile home at 41 Holcomb St. in Shepherd are the metal frame and ashes of items that once belonged to Shianne Ott and her two young children. The family’s home erupted into flames about 2:11 p.m. Wednesday and firefighters were unable to save it.
“For all practical purposes, it is a total loss,” said San Jacinto County Fire Marshal Jeff Williams.
In the days leading up to the fire, Shianne Ott said she had experienced some outages at her home, which she chalked up to problems with the power company. Her family had only lived in the rented home for a month, so she says she wasn’t sure what to expect.
“In the evening when I was cooking, the electricity would go off. I was like, okay, I guess the power company is fixing something. Then it would come back on after about 10 minutes. Then it started happening every day, so I knew that it couldn’t be the power company. Two days ago, it went off and didn’t come back on,” Ott said.
Before the landlord could have someone check on the home, it was destroyed by fire. Shianne said she was at work at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Polunsky Unit in Livingston when she got an emergency call. Since cell phones are not allowed in the prison, she ran to her car to make phone calls and see what happened. She learned that her home had burned completely to the ground, taking all of the family’s clothing, food, keepsakes and their three dogs.
“We lost everything,” Ott said.
Without renter’s insurance, she has no way to recoup her losses. Ott said that TDCJ has offered some help, which she will need as she looks for another place for her family.
“We stayed the night with my sister last night. We are going to stay with my mom for a little while until we can find something else that will be comfortable for the kids and me,” she said.