Firefighters safeguard their communities year-round, but this year has been more challenging than most with the Texas drought and near-daily fires.
After two years of volunteering with Plum Grove Volunteer Fire Department, two firefighters – Josh and Mary Lawson – have found themselves on the other side of the experience.
Their home was completely destroyed by fire on Wednesday, Aug. 30, leaving them without any possessions for themselves, Josh’s parents, and the couple’s three children.
The Lawsons were living with their three teenage children in the home of Josh Lawson’s parents, Carey and Wayne Simons, at their home on CR 328, right outside of Plum Grove.
“We moved out here to start over and to get back on our feet. We help his parents and his parents help us. We also volunteer at the station every weekend,” said Mary.
According to Mary, the fire has been determined to have been caused by an electrical problem in one of the bedrooms. The family came home to find their house was fully engulfed in flames.
“My son and I were home alone. I saw smoke coming from the hall. I went down to investigate it. My son’s door was a little warm, so I bumped it open and the fire flashed on me. I turned my back to it and got some singed hairs from it. Then ran to the front room, grabbed what I could, grabbed my son, and out the door we went. I called 911 while I was still in the house. I feel terrible. His parents lived there for 17 years,” said Mary.
According to Plum Grove Fire Capt. Luis Tula, after the fire was put out, the Lawsons and Simons were transported to the fire station. The family is temporarily staying at the fire station until other arrangements are made.
“We have nothing. We are taking donations at the fire station. All of the donations we get will go back to helping us rebuild our home,” said Mary.
The family has also created a Go Fund Me account for those that would like to donate online. They are asking for donations of clothes, food, hygiene products, bath items, pillows, and monetary donations to rebuild their home.
“My kids lost everything. I have 13-year-old twins and a 14-year-old. They need clothes and they need something to entertain themselves with,” said Mary.
If you wish to donate, here are the sizes and needs of the family members:
- 15 year old female: size 4 shoes, pants 14-16, shirt large-14, bra 36C, panties 10, socks
- 13-year-old female: pants 10, shirt 10-12, shoes 3, bra 32A, panties 8, socks
- 13-year-old male: pants 12-14, shirt 12-14, shoes 6.5, boxers 14-16, socks
- Grandpa: pants 34X34, shirt XL, boxers XL, shoe size 9, socks
- Grandma: pants 18W, shirts 2x, bra 40C, panties 10, shoes 6.5 wide, socks
- Mom: XL shirt, bra 44DDD, pants 22, underwear 10, socks
- Dad: large shirt, 30X32 pants, boxers medium, socks
To make a donation, go online to: https://gofund.me/7ae2b5c8