Months Later, Creek County Wildfire Victims Take Shelter In Temporary Housing


Thursday, December 27th 2012, 10:01 pm
By: Tess Maune


A Creek County family is taking shelter from the cold inside a shed, after they lost everything to a wildfire back in August.

Those wildfires left hundreds homeless.

Rebuilding is a lengthy process, and some people are still trying to figure out what to do next.

"It was just like a fire ball hit it," Richard King said.

For King, reminders of life before the fire are everywhere.

"Our computers were right here and we could see the lake down in there," King said, standing in what used to be his back yard. "Deer come up here in the back yard and we had birds out here. We had as many as 300 birds out here in the winter."

10/21/2012 Related Story: Creek County Wildfire Victims Move Forward; Suspect Still On The Run

A lot of the trees are gone, so the birds haven't been coming around so much this winter.

King said his family's home of 14 years was gone before he knew it.

"Forty-five minutes after we left, it was burnt," King said.

But the fire didn't destroy King's spirit. He said he's staying strong for his six children, four of whom he and his wife adopted in June.

"Got a 3-year-old, a 6-year-old, two 8-year-olds, a 9-year-old and a 17-year-old," King said.

The whole family was sick with the flu inside their makeshift homes Thursday. The five girls of the family are living in a shed-turned-house. It's been insulated and has a couple heaters that run off and on.

"We try not to keep ‘em going, because we don't want to get it overloaded over there with any electrical overload or anything," King said.

King and his two sons are staying a few feet away from the shed in a camper.

And when it's time to do laundry, the Kings make a trip across the yard to the old tool shed, it was the only thing left standing and now it houses a washer and dryer.

It's not the ideal living situation, but King said they'll be just fine.

The King family did have insurance, but not enough to cover everything they lost.

King said he hopes they'll be able to rebuild sometime in the spring.

See complete Oklahoma wildfire coverage