Coweta Rallies For Family After Home Burns Over Holidays

Saturday, January 5th 2013, 10:59 pm
By: News On 6

A small Oklahoma community has come together to help a family after its home burned the day after Christmas.

When teachers at a Coweta Elementary found out the family was living in an RV, they knew they had to do something.

There's not much left of Jared Batterson's home.

During the week of Christmas, he and his family were keeping warm with space heaters and the oven.

"Christmas night, it got really, really cold and we had a space heater back here and one in the living room and we were running the oven, and it was too much for the meter," Batterson said. "The wires that I had, they weren't big enough to carry all of that."

Batterson believes an electrical problem sparked the blaze.

Before he knew it, his house went up in flames and the fire destroyed almost everything.

"It just shot up there and I mean there were flames shooting out the roof and I dropped to my knees and was like ‘Please don't let it burn to the ground,'" he said.

As soon as word of the fire spread to Central Elementary School, where three of Batterson's kids attend, the school staff quickly jumped into action.

"They posted it on our school Facebook page, and a lot of us just took off with it and started doing what we could do, contact who we could contact and trying to get them some help," Kim Davis said.

Batterson said it was unexpected, but a blessing.

"It's just a lot more work than I can do by myself," he said. "I mean, I was doing it by myself, but (it was) going nowhere. It would take me forever to do this by myself."

Teachers are sorting through clothes trying to salvage anything they can find.

"It's not the first time, and it won't be the last that Coweta and Central Elementary have pulled together for one of its own, so it's something I'm very proud to be a part of," Kyle Cooper said.

It's truly a group effort.

"Everybody is just pouring their hearts out for us and it's unreal," Batterson said.

A local church is paying for the family to stay in a hotel for the next week.

Batterson is looking for a place for his family to stay after that.

They do not have insurance, and it could take up to six months to rebuild their home.

An account for donations has been set up at First National Bank in Coweta. You can also donate at Ace Hardware or call Shannon Harmon at 918-640-2516.