The Norman Transcript

January 31, 2014

Family thankful for support after house fire

By Jessica Bruha
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — A Slaughterville family is thankful for all of the support they have received over the week after they lost their home in a fire Jan. 24 at 48th Avenue Southeast near Cemetery Road.

Jami LaVon-Butts said several people have dropped off gift cards and other items for her family without leaving names or addresses, so the family has been unable to thank them.

“It’s truly amazing to see the way people come together in a situation like this. You don’t think it will ever happen to you, but everyone has been absolutely wonderful to us,” LaVon-Butts said. “I just wanted to say thank you for everyone’s thoughts and prayers.”

Slaughterville volunteer firefighters responded to the blaze shortly after the call came in around 12:30 p.m. that day. The family believed the fire started after a space heater malfunctioned.

The family put the heater in their well house in an attempt to thaw water lines due to the cold weather. The fire reached the house within minutes.

Noble, Cedar Country, Purcell and Lexington fire departments responded for mutual aid, and firefighters extinguished the flames by 4:45 p.m. Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office also responded to provide support at the scene.

“We’re doing all right,” LaVon-Butts said Thursday. “The Red Cross put us up in a room for a few days in Norman.”

The family is still staying at a local hotel, but she said her children, Jaden, 8, and Jordan, 7, don’t mind — especially with an indoor swimming pool.

“The kids are so resilient. They’re more worried about us,” she said with a laugh. “They wouldn’t mind if we stayed here forever.”

What amazed her was the amount of support they have received, with everyone from strangers to old high school friends helping. LaVon-Butts said she had a friend from high school she hadn’t seen or talked to in about 15 years drive up from Texas with clothes and other items for the family.

“I feel truly blessed we’re somewhere where we’ve had such an outpouring of support and prayers,” she said.

The family has set up an account at Republic Bank for monetary donations under the name Debra LaVon.

Jessica Bruha

366-3540

jbruha@normantranscript.com

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