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Family loses home and pets in morning fire

CENTRAL HIGH, Okla._A family's home has been destroyed after a fire broke out Wednesday morning in Central High.

It started around 8 o'clock; firefighters were able to contain the blaze in about two hours. Luckily, no one was home at the time, but the family lost several pets including a litter of puppies and two cats.

Donna Hadley-Harris and her husband's biggest concern today were their seven kids. They are all foster children who've gone through more in life than what many adults have. In fact, the Harris' have cared for over 300 foster children in their home, saying it's one of their biggest passions in life. Donna said watching the children learn that their home was no more and that they lost several pets, including a litter of puppies and two cats, was almost more than she could bear.

Stormy's beloved puppies, along with the family's cats would never make it out of the fire. As the new mother kept searching among the rubble for her babies, her owners were also searching for anything they could find salvageable.

"Just an old piece of driftwood with a metal sculpture of a cross...it's a little burnt but we saved that. That and the photos is it so far."

Harris says her heater was making strange noises this morning, so before leaving the house, she turned off the breaker switches to the unit. But it wasn't long before she got the call that would flip her world upside down.

"I got a call, and I ignored it at first, she called again and I ignored it and she said 'call immediately' and she called and said the house was on fire," said Donna. "I kept thinking of everything in the house, I thought of our pictures, our paperwork, the kids' clothes, everything."

Now as they try to pick up the pieces of their lives, Harris says her children from Central High football star Kevin, to her youngest daughter who's celebrating a birthday today are her source of strength and hope.

"As amazing as they are it's hard. But they are strong and I know they're going to do just fine through this. I've tried to explain to them that everything gone can be bought from a store, we just need to be blessed that we're still together and nobody was hurt," said Donna.

As for the next two nights, Red Cross is putting the Harris family in a hotel. After that, Donna said she isn't sure what lies ahead for the family but she says she's grateful that they still have their memories and, of course, each other.

The state fire marshal is investigating the exact cause of the fire.

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