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Community helping family victimized by fire

By Sherrie Williams
As a family of 12 work to put their lives back together after they lost virtually everything when their home burned last Wednesday morning, the community has pulled together to help them.
At about 5 a.m. last Wednesday Treavor and Linda Stewart rushed their 10 children out of their home at 107 James Drive as flames consumed the property.
Linda said she went to the bathroom around 2 a.m. and smelled something like wax burning. She woke her husband to check for the source of the smell and they determined it was from a wax warmer. He unplugged it and they went back to bed. Around 5 a.m. Linda woke to their five month old baby screaming.
“She normally wakes up and cries for a bottle about that time. But, this was not a cry. She was screaming. I guess she was having trouble breathing because when her scream woke me up the house was full of smoke,” said Linda.
Red Cross assisted the family in getting basic personal and hygiene items.
However, several groups and schools immediately went to work helping the family.
Kidwell and Bradford Elementary schools, Hoots and Hawks Day Care started accepting clothes, and other items for the family.
Iowa Park Optimist Club had a clothes drive Saturday and also accepted donations of other items.
Faith Baptist Church is also accepting items for the family.
Arrangements were also made for the family to stay at Camp Chaparral until March 10.
Linda said they have a mobile home on Treaver’s parents property, but it needs work before they can move into it.
“The plumbing has to be replaced and my father-in-law is working from sun-up till sun-down trying to get it ready,” said Linda.
She said if it is not finished by March 10, the family wll probably stay in a hotel.
Despite the donations Linda said there are still some items they need.
Size 8 boys clothes and size six to nine month sleepers are the most needed. But, she said the other children could also use additional clothing.
Other clothes sizes include, three of the girls wear size 5/6; a four-year-old boy wears size 4/5; and a 19-month-old boy wears size 18-24 months.
She said they could also use some bunk beds for the kids, basic household items such as dishes, pots and pans, can opener, etc., and gift cards.
“Dana Ross donated the use of a storage unit, so we have a place to store items until we move,” said Linda.
Treavor’s employer has donated a sofa and love seat, someone at Kidwell donated a queen size bed, and someone donated a dining room table, according to Linda.
There is not a kitchen available to cook in at Camp Chaparral, so members of Faith Baptist Church are cooking and delivering meals for the family each evening.
“We were asking for gift cards for restaurants, but a man at the church arranged for church members to cook us meals so we didn’t have to eat fast food,” said Linda. “We just want to say thank you for helping us during this time. We really appreciate it,” said Linda.
Anyone who would like to donate to the Stewart family can contact Faith Baptist Church, the Optimist Club, or Hoots and Hawks Day Care.