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School collecting for Port Lavaca family that lost home in fire

By Sara Sneath
Dec. 2, 2013 at 6:02 a.m.


How to help

Donations for the family may be dropped off or sent to Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic School.

WHEN: 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday

WHERE: 301 S. San Antonio St., Port Lavaca

MONETARY DONATIONS NEEDED FOR:

Medications, down payment on potential rental apartment or house, connections for utilities, replacement of drivers' licenses and other documentation, and gift cards to Wal-Mart for shoes, undergarments, etc.

• KITCHEN AND LAUNDRY ROOM

Washer and dryer, ironing board, cleaning supplies, glasses and cups, cooking pots and pans, measuring cups, mixing bowls, set of knives, can opener, laundry basket, coat hangers, sewing kit, scissors, trash cans, mixer, Tupperware, toaster and blender

• BEDROOMS AND BATHROOMS

Alarm clock, bookshelves, hair straightener

• LIVING AREA

Card table and chairs

SOURCE: List compiled by Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic School

David Squyres and his family had just finished their Thanksgiving meal late Thursday afternoon when they saw flames through the double doors at the back of their house in the 100 block of Whatley Road.

"We saw a big plume of orange and knew it wasn't the sun going down," Squyres said.

About a dozen family members were in the house at the time, he said. The family was holding a belated birthday celebration for his daughter.

"I yelled, 'Fire,'" Squyres said. "Everybody took off."

Squyres and his son tried to put out the fire with a garden hose but were unable to contain it. The fire department was called at about 4 p.m., Capt. David Johnson of the Port Lavaca Fire Department said. The fire was extinguished in an hour.

Johnson said the house is considered a total loss. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, he said.

Squyres said his family lost everything.

"We literally got out with the clothes on our back," he said.

Squyres was able to pull five birthday gifts out of the burning house for his daughter. A family cat was lost in the fire. The family is staying at Chaparral Motel in Port Lavaca.

Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic School is collecting household necessities for the family, the school's principal, Theresa Dent, said.

An up-to-date list of what is needed is posted on the school's Facebook account, Dent said.

"We have got an office filled with supplies," she said. "It's just been amazing."

Squyres said he did not expect the overwhelming support.

"We sincerely want to thank everyone who has reached out to help," he said.

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