Family loses dog, most of belongings in fire on Cottonbelt Street

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin mother and her three children are homeless after a fire devastated their home Monday morning.

Kim Starks broke down in tears as she walked up to her home, fully engulfed in flames.

No one was inside when the flames took over the house except the family dog, a miniature Schnauzer, named Marley and the family is devastated.

"My dog was in there," said Starks. "Marley was in there."

Assistant fire marshal, Captain Ozzie Jarman says Lufkin Fire responded to the 800 block of Cottonbelt Street just after 11:00 AM Monday to find a fully involved structure fire.

Jarman said, "When we arrived on scene the whole front of the house was fully involved. The back half of the house wasn't on fire yet. The front porch was fully involved and the front window. The fire was coming out of the front window. We made a defensive attack. We have reports that everybody was out of the house. The homeowner was at work and her 3 kids were at school."

Starks comforted her 17-year-old daughter as she cried and crumpled into her mothers arms. The family lost the majority of their belongings, many of them irreplaceable.

"My pictures, all of my pictures, my school, oh my God, all of my things my kids have made throughout their entire school year," said Starks. "All my mother's day stuff, just gone."

American Red Cross volunteers happened to be in the area around the time the fire started and followed to smoke to the house fire.

The Red Cross has already reached out to the family and says they will provide the family with any basic necessities they need immediately like food, shelter and clothing.

The homeowner says she and her 3 children, ages 17, 14 and one and a half will be staying with family tonight.

Jarman says they have determined the fire was not intentional and started on the screened in front porch.

Investigators were not able to determine the exact point of origin of the fire. It is being ruled undetermined at this time.

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