WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)—A Wichita Falls family is trying to adjust to living in hotel rooms after losing their home, on Belinda Dr., to a fire.
The homeowner Michael Wood is no stranger to disaster as a survivor of the 1979 tornado. He said he’s learned how to remain calm and adapt to change, but this new environment has been confusing for his sister and children.
A three-alarm structure fire changed everything for the Wood family.
“We just all got outside you know I didn’t try to put it out or nothing I just got outside with my family, got them across the street at the neighbors’ house and we just stood over there on the sidewalk and was standing there watching it burn,” homeowner Michael Wood said.
Wood cares for his mother and three adults with special needs: his two children and sister. They’re now trying to adapt to an unfamiliar place.
“So I’m able to adjust, but for my special needs kids, they’re used to home so with them it’s like my daughter really doesn’t know what’s going on or where she’s at or anything,” Wood said. “I try to keep myself calm for my kids.”
The Wichita Falls Fire Department and State Farm fire investigator have declared the home a total loss.
“The end of the day, official rulings gonna be unintentional/ undetermined and what that covers is it means it wasn’t an intentional set fire, it was an accidental of some sort and the reason why you go undetermined is because we’re not 110% sure the exact cause of it,” WFFD Asst. Fire Marshal and fire investigator Jared Burchett said.
For Wood, a total loss means losing his home and sentimental anniversary items reminding him of his late wife.
“Just like her passing away, I had to get used to that so I have to get used to this,” Wood said.
Everyone made it out safe and Wood said it’s changed his perception towards life, adding that now “stuff” doesn’t matter as much.
“Instead of buying extravagant things, just things that I need,” Wood said. “It kind of brings you back to earth is what it does.”
A situation no one wants to experience, but one the Wood family is just trying to get through.
The Wood family is unsure of what’s next, right now they’re just trying to make the best of a tough situation.
If you’d like to help them get back on their feet, find details on how to donate here.