LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Morgan Thomas - email
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The home on Keltys Street isn't just a house to Bernadette Patton. It's a part of her family's history.
"I want to come back home because this is my home," Patton said. "My grandparents home. I'm 42 years old. I grew up here, my mother grew up here and it means so much to me."
She lived at the home with her son and grandson. It was her grandson who alerted her about the fire shortly after she woke up from a nap.
"I'm blessed to stand right here before you today because it could have been a different outcome," Patton said.
The family feels blessed they got out alive. Without a smoke detector in the house they might not have been so lucky if the fire had happened at night.
She hopes this will be reminder to the community that everyone should have a smoke detector.
"You know they really don't cost much," Patton said. "I would advise everyone to get one."
Lucky to be alive, Patton now hopes she can rebuild what is left for future generations.
"So I can keep it so I can pass it on," Patton said.
A relative and family friend of the Pattons, Margaret Hodge, wants to see that happen.
"You know this could be any of us," Hodge said. "It could be me. It could be her. It could be anybody."
She has set up an account in Bernadette's name so the community can help the Pattons restore their family home.
"Anybody that wants to donate anything to help can go to Huntington State Bank and give under Bernadette Patton," Hodge said.
Donated materials for rebuilding and remodeling are also welcome.
"It just means a lot to the family now that my mother died in '02," Patton said. "So when they all come, they come home."