Community Rallies Around Families Of Bartlesville Fire Victims


Saturday, January 11th 2014, 10:02 pm
By: News On 6


Five families in Bartlesville lost their loved ones to fire a week ago and now fundraisers are being held to help with the funeral costs.

Family members are blown away by the outreach from the community. Two events held on Saturday raised money for the victims' families.

"This is something that is not going to be over this weekend; this is something that's going to affect everybody for years," said Kim Watkins, the organizer of a chili supper at the Elks Lodge.

The burned-out home in northwest Bartlesville is still a crime scene.

The cause of the fire is still undetermined by investigators.

Last Saturday Kevin Lomax, Destiny Daugherty, Shelby Sanders, Jeremy Blair and a 17-year-old boy died in an early morning fire.

Only one person made it out.

A week later, family members are waiting for answers.

"I know they're being very careful," Dan Adamson said. "It's very thorough in their investigation; we would like things to progress faster, because, yes, we would like to have some answers. But they'll come."

Blair's family is joining other families affected by the tragedy.

Helping hands mean a lot for a community still in mourning.

"I have chili that's come from strangers," Watkins said. "I have pies and cakes from people that I don't even know. I've met some wonderful people."

Funeral services for Kevin Lomax were held earlier this week.

"It's a tragic thing," Lomax's grandmother Debbie Prentice said. "It touched too many lives."

Lomax's family says the fundraiser will help the other fire victims' families bury their loved ones.

"These were families that needed... that didn't expect their loved ones to die," Prentice said.

Lomax's mother Casey Merchants added: "I'm usually the helper, not the one receiving anything, and so it just makes me want to help people more when stuff like this happens."