Small community of Martha recovers from fire - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Small community of Martha recovers from fire

Mementos left behind in burned homes. (Source: KSWO) Mementos left behind in burned homes. (Source: KSWO)

Damage assessments in Martha are still underway as 15 families come to grips with losing their homes in Saturday's fire. More than 100 first responders fought the blaze into the early morning hours Sunday. Officials are still waiting on an estimated cost of damage, and Jackson County Emergency Management Director, Erik Mowbray says it could be a while before they have any numbers.

"It'll take a while, factor in trucks, people and volunteers," Mowbray said. "It all comes down to the FEMA cost codes, trucks cost so much an hour, nurses cost so much an hour."

The fire started at a cotton module on the north side of the Martha Co-Op. It's the Co-Op's insurance that will be responsible for the damages. As for rebuilding, Mowbray says it will be up to the individual homeowners.

"The county is willing to step in with heavy equipment and clear lots," he said. "The next step is if they choose to rebuild, that's the homeowners decision."

In the meantime, those who lost their homes are staying with family or in hotels. The Martha Road Baptist Church has also opened its doors to help.

"People are just dropping off supplies, we didn't have to ask for much because people were able to supply what was needed," said Meri Kayla Baker, the senior pastor's wife.

Mowbray says Jackson County Emergency Management is prepared for disasters like these. He said it was just second nature to step in and take control, but there are some things you just can't be ready for.

"It's very surreal," Mowbray said. "I sat there and watched a family, all that is left is a coffee cup, it'll kind of bring a tear to your eye."

Mowbray encourages monetary donations more than anything right now. If you'd like to contribute, you can call the Martha Baptist Church at 580-482-3377.

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