Update: Family of 16 home destroyed in afternoon fire - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Update: Family of 16 home destroyed in afternoon fire

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UPDATE: One of ten children who escaped their burning home is hospitalized after displaying possible smoke inhalation symptoms.

A family member tells CBS 19, their one-month old son started coughing and was taken to a Jacksonville hospital where he is being treated at this time.


TYLER (KYTX) - Ten children and six adults are looking for a place to stay after a fire destroyed their home and dozens of Christmas presents for the kids.

CBS 19'S Katiera Winfrey spoke to family members who said this tragedy couldn't have happened at a worse time, and the kids are wondering..."how will Santa Claus find them."

Clouds of smoke, flames and fire trucks...show a clear sign of destruction.

"We tired to get what we could, but it was already too late, the kids lost everything," said Christal Anderson who lived in the burned down house.

Inside this family home on County Road 2173 in Smith County, lived six adults and 10 kids.

"Our stuff burned up, just all of it," said one of the younger children.

Instead of being inside, the children are keeping warm in the car, while the adults try to take it all in.

"We have no where for these kids to go, like I said ,they hey have nothing other than the clothes on their backs," said Anderson.

Family members told fire crews the blaze started in the breaker box around Sunday afternoon. When they pulled the cover off the box, the fire got out of control.

"It went into the roof and into the attic area, so that makes it really difficult to fight," said Smith County assistant Fire Marshal Oren Hale.

He said the the fire moved quickly. By the time crews got there, a third of the home was on fire.

"They have lost, about everything, I don't' know if they'll be able to salvage anything," Hale said.

Christal Anderson was one of the adults in the home. She and other adults helped get the children ranging from one month old to 15 years out safely.

"They're asking, how is Santa gonna find the house, now that it's burned down," said Anderson.

Although they've gotten out safely, all the Christmas gifts didn't...

"I'm heart broken I don't know how to calm them down, I tell them everything is gonna be okay, but we're gonna figure Christmas out," said Anderson.

Despite the lost home, no one was hurt. Bbeneath the charred wrapping paper are gifts.
A sign, that Christmas will go on.


WHITEHOUSE (KYTX) - Multiple fire departments responded to a house fire on FM 2173 in Whitehouse.

The fire destroyed most of the home, and displaced the family.

A family member tells us 10 kids and 6 adults were inside the home when the fire started and several family members say sparks on the breaker box.

The family says they tried to put it out but flames shot up the wall.

Everyone got out of the house safely, but the family says they lost everything, including Christmas presents.

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