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Wildfire Victims Will Soon Move Into Their New Home

A Wichita County couple got quite the surprise when a local contractor said he wanted to replace their home: one of the homes destroyed when wildfires roared through Wichita County 15 months ago.  They've been living in a travel trailer on their land since the fire, and now the couple is finally getting ready to move into their new home.
    On April 15, 2011, Ken and Theresa Simpson lost everything they owned in wildfires on FM 367.
    "We didn't know if it was burning or anything," Ken says.  "We were down the road looking this way.  With all the bad smoke and everything, we assumed it was."
    The next morning when they came back to their property, they saw all their belongings were reduced to ashes.
    "It's hard to get the picture out of your head when we saw our house after it completely burned.  It just stays with you," Theresa says.
    Fifteen months later, the Simpsons are about to move into a new home, thanks to a local contractor, who wants to remain anonymous, and to Interfaith Ministries, which paid off what was owed on the property.
    "Every day when I come out here and look at this, that old picture, that bad picture, is fading away," Theresa says.
    Workers are putting the finishing touches on the inside of the house, and once those are done, the Simpsons will have a new place to call home.
    They say it's all thanks to the kindness of complete strangers, who are now so near and dear to their hearts.
    "It takes good people to make up a community that is as good as this whole area.  And if any community ever came together and came through for somebody, I've never heard of anything like this," Theresa says.
    The Simpsons are retired and had no insurance when the fire took everything they owned.
    And while they now have a home to live in, they are still in need of many common household items.
    The Wichita Falls Area Disaster Recovery Committee is giving the couple a house welcoming.
    If you'd like to contribute items the couple needs, you can get their registry information at Target and Bed Bath and Beyond.
    Both are under the names Theresa and Ken Simpson.
    The registries expire August 12, 2012.
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