Tragedy has once again dealt a hard blow to a local family after an early morning fire on Halloween completely destroyed their home. Spencer Harlow, who lives in Livingston but previously resided in Liberty County, says his stepson, Jasper Sims, is a hero for pulling his two young siblings through a window and saving their lives.
The fire, located along SH 146 in the Livingston area, happened just three years after another tragic loss – the death of Spencer’s wife, Sonya, who died from an unexpected medical emergency in November 2020 just 11 days after giving birth to the couple’s daughter, Eliyanah. Spencer, a disabled veteran who served in the 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, now cares for the couple’s children.
On the morning of the fire, Spencer was driving his son Austin to work in Daisetta when he received a distressing phone call from Jasper that their home in Livingston was burning. The children made it safely outside the home with only the clothes they had worn to bed the night before.
“Jasper is my hero. He heard his brother and sister screaming for help, and he got to them as quickly as he could. He got them out and called 911,” Spencer said. “I have no words. I buried a child in 2007 and God knew I couldn’t do it again.”
According to Spencer, a faulty stove with a cracked glass top may have sparked the fire. The house fire is being investigated by the fire marshal’s office. Meanwhile, Spencer and his family are living in a local hotel with expenses covered by his homeowner’s insurance policy.
“I haven’t heard from the insurance adjustor yet but I think the house is going to be a total loss. The roof is gone. There is soot in every room. I am waiting to get the greenlight before going back into the house to see if there are any photos or mementos that can be saved. I have no expectations based on what I have seen so far,” he said.
He is hopeful that his most precious possessions – photos of his wife – were spared. They were located in a back room of the house that sustained the least amount of water and smoke damage.
Encouragement to keep pushing forward through another tragedy has come from his family and friends, and church community, all of whom have been generous with providing clothing and items for him and his displaced children.
“Everyone has been amazing to us. We have food. We have the necessities of life. We might not have everything we want, but we have what we need. We have a roof over our head and my children are alive,” he said. “I never imagined in a million years that I would be here in this place in life, but I am and I am not going to give up. I will never give up.”
A Go Fund Me account has been established by his longtime friend, Nancy Davie, wife of former LCSO Deputy and current Mont Belvieu Police Officer Willie Davie. If you want to help the Harlow family, go online to https://gofund.me/0818fb82