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House fire leaves La Vernia couple, pets homeless

 
House fire leaves La Vernia couple, pets homeless
NANNETTE KILBEY-SMITH — Firefighters survey the remains Saturday afternoon after a blaze that began mid-morning Feb. 28 consumed the home of Lee and Pat Eaton on Oak Hill Road near La Vernia.

A La Vernia couple are homeless, following a fire Feb. 28 that rendered their home on Oak Hill Road near La Vernia a total loss.

Neighbors called 911 Saturday, reporting a blaze at the home at about 11 a.m.

Members of the La Vernia Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) worked feverishly to contain the blaze Saturday, Homeowners Lee and Pat Eaton were not at home when the fire started.

According to La Vernia Assistant Fire Chief Tammy Worthington, the Eatons’ mobile home was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived on the scene at approximately 11:15 a.m. Saturday. Firefighters’ efforts were hampered by wind, near-freezing temperatures, and live ammunition exploding.

Aiding the efforts of the La Vernia firefighters were members of the Kicaster VFD, Stockdale VFD, the La Vernia EMS, Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, Floresville Electric Light & Power System, and County Fire Marshal Edwin Baker. La Vernia VFD’s Rehab 1 unit also was at the scene. The blaze was declared contained at approximately 12:12 p.m. No one was injured, Worthington said.

Responders utilized the Eatons’ tractor to pull vehicles away from the conflagration.

Neighbors rounded up the Eatons’ two dogs, but were unable to locate a number of cats in the immediate aftermath; some may have perished in the fire. The couple’s horses were uninjured.

Baker said arson was not a concern; with the cold weather, he suggested the blaze may have been caused by a space heater on a porch to alleviate the cold for the family pets.

La Vernia firefighters returned Sunday, after neighbors reported the blaze had reignited.

The Eatons -- she is a former piano teacher and he works in the oil field -- had no insurance and lost everything in the fire. The Red Cross arranged several nights’ accommodation for the couple in a local motel.

Donations

Lee and Pat Eaton lost everything in the Feb. 28 fire that consumed their home; they had no insurance.

Donations of clothing, animal feed, and household goods have flooded in and are being accepted at:

•Big Bear Home Center, La Vernia, inside the store

•The La Vernia News office on Chihuahua Street

•St. Ann Catholic Church parish office on U.S. 87; contact Shannon Kosub.

Their immediate need, however, is somewhere to stay. An RV that can be placed on-site, so they can care for their animals, is a preference.

Clothing also is welcome:

•Lee: pants, size 38W, 36L; XL shirts, size 14 shoes.

•Pat: Ladies size large tops, large/long pants, size 6 shoes.

For large items or more information, call Sharon Todd, 706-536-7255, or Heather Magnuson, 512-791-7142, or visit the LV Angels on Facebook.

 
 
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