Disaster Relief Group Restores Faith For Creek County Fire Victim

Saturday, August 11th 2012, 5:46 pm
By: Tess Maune

One week later, the smoke has cleared in Creek County.

It's gone from a cloud of black, to a sky so blue, but the memories of last week are still burning hot.

Nearly 60,000 acres and at least 209 homes have been reduced to ashes.

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"I was on top of my house, watering the roof down when I seen the fire come over," David Clawson said. "The smoke was really bad. It came over the corner at the top of the hill up there, and I heard screams and I told everybody, ‘We've got to evacuate.'"

It's hard to tell by the looks of this land, but Clawson and his dad, AJ, are two of the lucky ones.

Both of their homes were saved, but AJ's business was not.

He'd put in 40 years of sweat and tears into building a profitable trailer park.

The fire burned more than half of his income.

"When we first walked through here, it was still smoking," AJ said. "It looked like a graveyard, after all these years of work."

Just when AJ thought he'd never be able to clean up the mess, in came the helpful hands of those with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.

"It's hard for me to accept it, because I've always been a giver not a taker," AJ said. "And people trying to help me? It's overwhelming."

Even harder to accept is that so many of his friends, family and neighbors have nothing left.

"All they had what was in those little ol' trailers, and I really feel for them," AJ said.

And he's grateful for the group that came to his rescue, moving metals scraps, dozing through the ashes and restoring faith that not all is lost.

So now that the smoke has settled...

"These tears are tears of joy because I know things are gonna work out," he said. "I mean, with all the help, how could you lose?"