Mobile home catches fire with family inside in Jackson County

ELMER, OK (KSWO) - A house fire in Elmer left a family of seven without a home after it broke out Thursday evening in their living room while the family was inside. They all made it out, but one of them was taken to a local hospital after suffering smoke inhalation.

The fire destroyed everything and even started melting the glass. Gary Johnston lived in the home with his two parents, wife and three children.

"It went up like a match," Johnston said.

He said he was at his brother's house when they got the call.

"I heard my mom say, 'our house is on fire,'" he said. "So, we got in the car and went to Elmer."

Fire crews from Elmer and Altus were working to put it out when the roof started weakening and they were called off. The fire chief said they had to let the house just burn because it was too dangerous. The fire chief said he believes the fire started in a wood stove. One of the kids was the first to spot the flames.

"Bobby says he thought Donnie was joking with him when he said he was a fire going through the ceiling and didn't think anything about it," Johnston said.

They quickly realized it wasn't a joke and the oldest child carried his grandfather out of the burning home. Johnston said he got there about five minutes after receiving the call.

"I went in the front door and never thought about going and picking anything out," he said.

Within minutes it was too late for him to go back inside and all their belongings burned. Johnston said the kids are taking it as well as they can.

"They don't like it because all of their stuff is gone but, they know we're going to make it," Johnston said.

And while their home is gone, Johnston is optimistic.

"It could've been a lot worse," he said. "but it wasn't."

The family is receiving help from the Red Cross for now and they're staying with a neighbor, turned friend. If someone wants to help out, they can call or text that neighbor at 580-649-4999.

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