Sperry family deals with fire loss

Tuesday, November 29th 2005, 10:21 am
By: News On 6

The grassfires came too close for comfort for one Sperry family. With flames approaching, the family stopped to help a neighbor in need and paid the price by losing many of their own belongings and nearly their lives.

News on 6 reporter Heather Lewin has more on their harrowing escape.

When Becky Thomas looks at the charred grass in a circle around her home, she's amazed it was untouched. "God protected us."

On the day of the fire, the family was ready to run, but they saw that a neighbor was having trouble getting her horses to safety, so they went to help. Becky wasn't worried, the flames weren't yet threatening her home, but then a shift in the wind changed everything. “We didn't know that Mother Nature was gonna take a turn on us."

By the time they got back across the pasture, the truck they planned to escape in was gone. "All I could do was throw the kids in another truck that we had and just gun it. We were encircled in flames and we were told by the firefighters out here, you're just gonna have to drive through the flames; you can't stop, so we didn't stop. I don't see how else we could've got out of here, it was by the grace of God, like he came down and put his hands on us and pulled us out of here."

Though their house and family were spared, the Thomas’ did suffer a heartbreaking loss. When they packed this truck to evacuate they put all of the family pets, in their carriers, inside.

The children saw the truck burning as they ran for their lives. "I know it's hard for the kids to lose their animals, but I raised them that love and family is more important. And you know we wouldn't have never changed, we still be down there helping those neighbors, it didn't change our thoughts or our ways."

Shortly after Becky told the News on 6 that story, we finished our interview and were about to leave, when something amazing happened. “It's Sabrina? She made it? She made it!" The family cat was found. "Sabrina there's miracles, she made it!"

The family did lose two dogs, a cat, two ferrets and a lizard in the fire, but they are happy to report they rushed Sabrina to the vet and not only is she going to be fine, she's pregnant!