Family Picking Up Pieces After Fire

Friday, May 23rd 2008, 10:22 pm
By: News On 6

A Green Country family is struggling 10 days after fire severely damaged their home. To make matters worse, authorities say it was arson.

The News On 6's Chris Wright reports the arsonist targeted the home next door to the Johnson's on Woodrow Place in North Tulsa, but the fire quickly spread to their house and now they are forced to pick up the pieces.

"I looked over; the guy's house next door was blazing.  I ran back in the house, I got my kids and my husband and we got out," said Shalee Johnson.

Shalee Johnson, her husband William, and three children did escape before the early-morning fire spread to their home.

Firefighters put it out before it fully engulfed the house, but the damage was already done.

It is no longer livable, and 10 days later, the Johnsons are still not sure what they'll do next.

The entire family was able to get out of the home safely, but because the fire spread so quickly they lost almost all of their possessions.

"It's just kind of like we're out in the open by ourselves.  We're starting over from scratch.  Furniture, everything from scratch," said William Johnson.

The family literally has the clothes on their back, and that's about it. They are also separated from each other.

The children are living with one side of the family; the parents are staying with the other. Making this experience more difficult, they say, is that this was not an act of God, but arson.

"It's hard for us to accept.  Everything we had we worked for hard," said Shalee Johnson.

The Johnsons were renting and did not have renter's insurance. The family had dreamed of buying the house from their landlord, but realizing that dream is no longer possible.

"We've been here for a couple of years now so we were just getting to love it and to settle in," said William Johnson.

Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to call the Arson hotline at 596-ARSN.

There has been a fund set up for the Johnsons. Anyone interested in helping out can do so by donating to the Johnson Family Contributions at any Bank of Oklahoma.

Related Story:

05/13/2008 - Fire Destroys Home