Couple Shares Lessons Learned from Devastating House Fire

- Wichita Falls resident Tanya McGinty knew something was wrong when she smelled smoke inside her home early one morning last month.

Pat McGinty, Tanya's husband, says, "It was about 5:30 in the morning when she came to get me from the bedroom and she said the house was on fire. Of course, I didn't expect it to be anywhere near like what she saw."

The flames moved quickly, eating up the McGinty's belongings including two cars and all but one of their beloved pets.

Fire Marshal David Collins says it looks like embers taken out of the fire place the night before were placed too close to combustible items.

It happened at one of the worst times: in the short couple weeks they'd let their homeowner's insurance expire before they bundled it with their car insurance.

"And I had told Tanya, I said, 'Well we probably don't have anything to worry about for a month or so because it's not tornado season yet,'" Pat says. "I never even thought about a fire."

They say they want other homeowners to know that they should never be without insurance.

Now begins the hard part: rebuilding, but the McGinty's say there's no where else they would rather be.

"It's just wonderful out here," Tanya says. "Everybody's just like our family. They've been here for us and we're here for them if they need us."

"It's an unfortunate thing, but we'll move on," Pat says. "You know, we'll make it, but hopefully things will be better."

If you want to help the McGinty's, there's an account set up to benefit them at Union Square.

It's under McGinty fire fund.

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