Family Feels A Major Loss From Storm - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

KOTV - 12/12/2007 10:32 AM - Updated 12/12/2007 6:18 PM

Family Feels A Major Loss From Storm

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Because of the widespread loss of electricity, More than 1,500 people spent Tuesday night in shelters across Green Country. The News On 6's Carina Sonn reports one family lost more than just their electricity. Their apartment caught on fire.

Brandi Russell and her family spent Tuesday night at Asbury Methodist Church. Like thousands of others in Green Country, the ice storm took out power to their apartment complex.

"With no electricity, no lights, we used candles and one of the candles happened to burn a little too long, fall over on the curtains and caught our apartment on fire," said Jimmy Russell.

Jimmy and Brandi managed to grab their kids and shoes. Charred remains and smoke damaged items are all that's left. The fire was contained to just that one apartment, but the family's home is a total loss.

The Russell's didn't have a smoke detector. Still, Brandi says she feels lucky everyone got out alive.

"The only reason I woke up is because I was dreaming something was on fire and I woke up and rolled over and the whole dining room was on fire," said Brandi Russell.

The Russells say they were just getting back on their feet, after what's been a very tough year.

"Things were going good. Christmas was getting ready to be great for the kids and now there's not going to be any Christmas at all," said Jimmy Russell.

The family says it's hard losing power for several days, but harder losing the home they would've returned to. Now they're just trying to enjoy the warmth of indoors and the blessing of each other's company. Bravely, they say it could always be worse.

"I know there are some people out in the world with less than we got, but we're thankful we're still together and we're going to go forward."

The Russell's are now getting help from the American Red Cross, including clothing vouchers and a temporary stay at a hotel. Firefighters say flashlights are much safer than candles during a power outage. Never use candles to look for things in a closet or to light lanterns or kerosene heaters.

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