Berryhill family loses everything in house fire

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Berry Hill, Oklahoma — A Berry Hill family that lost everything in a house fire is trying to get back on its feet.

“It’s not something you expect to happen,” Julia said. “It actually feels very surreal. I think we’re still in shock.”

A few weeks ago, just before Christmas, Julia and Jacob moved into their rental home.

“It was like my little dream house in Berry Hill,” Julia said. “I’m glad we could spend a Christmas there because it was a beautiful Christmas, but I wasn’t ready to leave. it.”

This is their last Christmas at home. Jacob was hitting the shelves around 10:30 p.m. Thursday when he noticed a burning smell and thought the dryer was broken.

“I opened the garage door and it wasn’t the dryer,” Jacob said. “The garage was on fire.”

Jacob was able to get himself, their son and their dog out. Julia was not at home at the time. Sadly, their cat died in the fire.

The fire department believes an electrical problem in the garage was the cause, Jacob said. During the time they moved in, the garage has been storing many of their possessions.

Julia said: “Walking through the house today, it looks like an apocalyptic scene, it’s so sad, it’s like there’s nothing left. It’s been demolished.”

The Clary family’s loss is not alone.

The American Red Cross in Oklahoma said it had responded to 50 home fires in just one week in 2022. At the current pace, the state’s fire response rate could increase by 60 percent this year, the Red Cross said.

“We have more people in our house turning on space heaters, turning on these fireplaces for the first time, just to keep warm,” said Linda Medford, a readiness program manager for the American Red Cross in Oklahoma. They’re plugging Keep things plugged into wires or extension cords that shouldn’t be plugged into extension cords. “

The Red Cross recommends testing your smoke alarms and replacing them when you’re 10 or older, making sure you have an escape plan, and removing burning items from the stove in the kitchen.

“Keep everything, curtains, bedding, don’t put space heaters by the bed,” Medford said. “Three feet away from heat sources will help reduce a lot of things that catch fire.”

Meanwhile, Jacob and Julia start over. If you’d like to help, you can donate to GoFundMe for them here.

The Red Cross is also looking for volunteers. You can find more information here.

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