MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

December 12, 2012

Family of five loses home in blaze

Parents, children face narrow escape

By Dylan Goforth and Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writers

— FORT GIBSON — A Fort Gibson family lost their home early Tuesday in a blaze that came close to being much worse.

The fire erupted in a mobile home in the 800 block of Cemetery Road just after 1 a.m. Tuesday. Fort Gibson Fire Chief Larry Dale Cooper said the five-member Thompson family — Jason, Samantha and their three boys, Kaleb, 6, Kaiden, 5, and Kameron, 18 months — was standing outside, staring at the flames.

“When we got there, the whole family was just standing outside, covered in soot,” Cooper said. “The trailer was already fully engulfed, so there wasn’t much more we could do than just try to just contain it.”

Jessica Benjamin, Samantha Thompson’s cousin, said the loss of the home and all of the family’s belongings pales in comparison to what could have been.

“Luckily, they said all the kids were sleeping in the parents’ room, or they wouldn’t have made it,” Benjamin said, noting the kids’ room was on the other side of the mobile home. The fire erupted between the two rooms, and had accelerated so quickly, the home was almost swallowed up by the time anyone realized something was wrong.

“They all went outside and then realized they couldn’t find Kaiden,” Benjamin said. “Jason ran back inside and finally heard him and dragged him out by his legs.”

Cooper said officials haven’t determined what started the fire. All three children were treated for smoke inhalation, but were fine Tuesday, Benjamin said.

A Red Cross spokeswoman said their representatives had contacted the Thompson family. Benjamin said she is accepting donations for the family, who only owns the clothes they were wearing when they narrowly escaped the fire.

“The kids are pretty shook up,” Benjamin said. “They were upset because they lost their favorite toys and blankets.”

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or dgoforth@muskogeephoenix.com.

You can help

Anyone interested in donating to Samantha and Jason Thompson, Fort Gibson residents who lost their home and belongings in a Tuesday morning fire, can contact Samantha’s cousin, Jessica Benjamin, at (918) 685-0636.

Benjamin said the family is in particular need of warm clothes, blankets and diapers.