Family remains positive after house destroyed by fire
Feb. 4, 2011 at 4:01 p.m.
Updated Feb. 3, 2011 at 8:04 p.m.
Cindy Hewer faced her family and smiled, not seeming to notice the fallen bricks and charred remains of her home in the background Friday afternoon.
"I think positive," she said. "I'm going to make this tragedy into something that will benefit us."
A fire destroyed the home in the 200 block of Bruce Lane about 5 a.m. Friday.
Hewer, 56, had awoken to get a glass of water when she said she noticed flames coming from the attic.
A furnace had shorted, the family would later find out.
She quickly gathered her two grandchildren, who were having a slumber party on her living room floor, and her husband, Carl.
They called 911 and waited nearly 45 minutes in a warm car until firefighters could make it out to their icy gravel road near the intersection of U.S. Highway 77 North and Farm-to-Market Road 444, Hewer said.
All that remained of their home, which Hewer designed, were some jagged brick walls, a tall fireplace, a smoldering fire-proof safe and seared belongings - folded clothes, yearbooks, photo frames and other reminders of the family's 13 years in the home.
Hewer was quick to laugh about the unlucky number 13 as her husband showed her a nearly unrecognizable coin he found in one of their fire-proof safes.
They both scoffed, "fire proof."
"I just thank God we have other means. We have family," Hewer said. "These things can be replaced."
Hewer said the family had insurance and may live in the next-door home that they rent out. She said part of staying positive means she can look forward to bulldozing the old home's remains and designing a new home on the same spot.
"We lost our house and everything in it, but we have the clothes on our back and each other," Hewer said.
Her daughter picked on her for parading around in one brown and one black boot.
"I'm lucky," she said. "We're good."