A family of eight, including four children, escaped their burning Millsap home without injury Saturday evening but lost nearly everything, including several pets.
Patricia McKay said the electricity went out, and when a family member went outside to check on the issue, he discovered the house on northeast Front Street was on fire.
They got the young children, ranging in age from 3 years old to 12 years old, safely out of the house, and McKay said she then tried saving two of the cats, but they got out of her hands.
Their dog, three cats and six kittens died, according to McKay.
Millsap Volunteer Fire Department, assisted by fire departments from Brock-Dennis, Greenwood, Cool-Garner and Adell-Whitt, responded to the scene within minutes but were unable to make an interior attack on the fire that quickly consumed most of the structure — a pair of attached, older mobile homes.
The department’s fire chief, who lives across the street, saw black smoke already billowing from the back mobile home when he stepped out of his house, Millsap VFD Assistant Chief Jeff Edwards said.
The back wall of the house had already collapsed by the time firefighters arrived on scene.
The fire quickly spread, creating an approximately half-acre grass fire that approached nearby structures before firefighters were able to contain it.
“Fortunately, nobody was hurt,” Edwards said.
The 100 degree heat and dry grass also made things difficult for firefighters.
Thankfully, the Red Cross helped firefighters as well as the family, according to Edwards.
A wheelchair, a small swingset and a child’s playhouse were among the few things in the yard left untouched by the fire.
It’s not the first time the family has dealt with fires at their residence.
They’ve had issues with electrical wiring in the past that started two small fires at their home, but they fixed the wiring each time it happened, McKay said.
A message left Monday afternoon for the Parker County Fire Marshal’s investigator was not returned by deadline.
About eight years ago, the family also lost their house to a fire, according to McKay, though she said the fire Saturday was worse.
The Red Cross has put McKay, her husband William Cox and their family in a motel until Thursday, but they are seeking another place in the Millsap school district to live.
If anyone has a house with three or four bedrooms they are willing to rent for $550 to $600 a month, McKay said they can be reached at 940-745-5953.