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May 6, 2014

Family returns to ashen remains

NORMAN — Gloria Martin and her daughter, Rachel Hudson, were having a hard time keeping the tears from flowing as they spoke about their losses.

Sunday evening, Martin’s longtime home, east of Interstate 35 near the Seward Road-Midwest Boulevard intersection, burned to the ground. So did her property next door where she spent cherished childhood years.

Monday morning, as fire crews continued to battle the blaze in Logan County, family members were at what was left of Martin’s home, helping her search for anything salvageable — a piece of jewelry, dishes, photographs. But all that was left of the homes that meant so much to Martin were ashen remains.

“I was kind of devastated a little bit,” she said as she looked at the remains. “A lot of years. My mom and dad’s house was special to us. It’s gone.”

Her pet cat, Buddy, died in the fire, as well. But the land, which she owns, is still there. As far as the future goes, Martin said she will be taking things one day at a time and relying on her faith in God. 

“I have my faith in God,” she said. “He’ll take care of me. All this can be replaced except for human life.” 

Hudson said Sunday afternoon, they were with her daughter at a hospital and didn’t have a chance to get any valuables out of the home. By the time they arrived in the area, evacuations were under way.

In addition to relatives, Pat Hughes, principal of a Guthrie-area alternative school, came along with one of his students to help the family. Four other of Hughes’ students were elsewhere in the area helping victims. Another home nearby had been reduced to ashes.

“It’s just what you do when somebody has a devastating thing happen like this,” Hughes said. 

Martin said Oklahomans are resilient individuals, a quality that has helped her family through past tough times. This isn’t the first time a wildfire touched their lives.

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