Electrical fire destroys Altus home

Published: Dec. 8, 2014 at 10:56 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 26, 2015 at 8:03 PM CDT
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ALTUS, Okla._An Altus family has been forced to start over after a devastating electrical fire.

It happened on the 700 block of Judy Avenue Thursday evening. The tenant and her family were out of town when they received a phone call telling them their house was on fire. They rushed home, only to find there was nothing they could do.

The family has been able to find another home to rent. They're getting settled in now and are working to furnish it. One thing they say will have to take a back seat, is this year's holiday presents, which were destroyed in the fire.

"I was just devastated. I mean, I just didn't know what to think at that moment. I thought 'why me,'" said Christie Harper, the current tenant.

Harper says the fire couldn't have come at a worse time for her young family. She has a 15-year-old son and pregnant 18-year-old daughter. She says the fire started in an electrical outlet in what was going to be the baby's nursery, destroying everything inside. Also destroyed were the wrapped Christmas presents she was storing in the baby's room.

"I had a laptop for my daughter. I had a laptop for my son, and many other items," said Harper.

Along with baby clothes, Harper estimates she spent around $2,000 on her family's Christmas gifts.

"That's a lot of money, and I don't know how I'm ever going to replace them," she said.

She says she and her family live on a fixed income after she was injured in a work related accident 10 years ago. But despite their losses, Harper says she thankful no one was in the home at the time of the fire. She's determined to get her family back on track.

"I'm hoping to be able to get back up on my feet and provide a home for my children and grandson," said Harper.

After the interview, Harper's daughter, who's nine months pregnant and was expecting any day, was rushed to the hospital after her water broke. Her mother says baby donations have started pouring in over the past few days.