Christmas Donors Help Tulsa Family Struggling After House Fire
TULSA, Oklahoma - It's never easy to deal with a house fire, but the holidays can be an especially tough time.
Two Tulsa families are cleaning up after a fire caused damage to their homes.
The worst of the two had heavy smoke damage inside, but, thankfully, everyone got out okay.
A few weeks ago, a family of five lost everything they have in a fire near 56th Street North and Peoria and are struggling to get back on their feet.
Now, one police officer and his family are stepping up to help them. The family said they don't know what they would do without their generosity.
The Hawthorne family lived in their home for forty years, but now they are left with nothing.
Tuesday was one of the first times the Hawthorne family had seen their home after a fire ripped through it.
"We just ran out with no clothes, no shoes and we just stood there in the rain until somebody came," Charlene Hawthorne said.
She watched everything go up in flames.
“That's the only thing I was thinking, everybody is safe. What are we going to do was the next thing, what are we going to do,” she said.
Weeks later, Charlene, her great granddaughter Brittany, and her three young kids are all staying with family - most are sleeping in one room.
Sarah Guardiola heard about the Hawthornes through her husband, a Tulsa police officer.
“When faced with so much destruction, and the need is so great, it can be overwhelming. And, at that point, I was just compelled, I was compelled to help," she said.
Tuesday, Guardiola surprised the family with gift cards, one for $50, and another one for $1,000.
She and others have also helped with food, clothing and presents.
"She's our angel,” the family said. "She's our superhero."
While thankful for everything, they are still figuring out where they will live.
Charlene said, "We need our own place. The kids have so much stuff there isn't enough space to put it."
“If we could have a Christmas miracle it would be restoring their home,” Guardiola said.
The family's vehicle was also damaged in the fire; and, even though it's ready to pick up from the shop, they don't have the money to get it out of there.