ARCHER CITY (KFDX/KJTL) — Sunday afternoon, Kati Howell got the call none of us want.
Archer City VFD and three other first responder agencies arrived to the scene of a structure fire in Archer City around 4:30 p.m. This structure was Howell’s home. The home where she and her two sons lived.
Howell received the call while she was grocery shopping and was told everything she owned was gone.
“It’s something I’ve never dealt with before. I’m one of those that you gotta try to look at the positive side of things and the most important thing is no one was in here,” Howell said.
Fortunately, the family was not home when the fire broke out, and neighbors were able to contact the fire department before flames spread to any other properties.
Firefighters say the fire was started by a faulty outlet, where an air conditioner and fan were plugged in.
“Right here is where they said that it started. The outlet is actually right there where you can see it too. That blue fan was plugged in and that window unit was right here,” Howell said.
All of this happened a day before the start of the new school year, but Howell says thanks to the community, the boys were able to start school today with everything they needed.
“I come through this spot right here and the first thing is [I] saw what the firefighters saved for me. Before the smoke got real bad in the boys’ room, they took out the dresser drawers of clothes and boxes of shoes and saved them for me. And then when I walked around to the front they had saved their brand new backpacks for school,” Howell said.
Firefighters were able to salvage all of Howell’s family photos and memorabilia, but she’s just thankful that everybody is okay.
“I thank the Lord it didn’t happen while we were sleeping because that is my room and that is their room and that’s where it was. So I’m very very thankful,” Howell said.
Howell says she appreciates all of the support she’s received from her community so far.