Normangee Family Loses Everything in House Fire

By: Toni Harrison
By: Toni Harrison

"I don't know what else I could've done different. I'm not going to beat myself up for it cause I know we did what we could do," said Carl Bishop, family member and volunteer firefighter.

Carl Bishop has been a volunteer firefighter in Normangee for two years, but no amount of training or experience could prepare him for the fire he was called to at 2 a.m. Saturday morning.

"I knew the location where I was going," said Bishop.

The fire was at his parents’ home just a few blocks away and he knew six of his family members were in the house. When Carl arrived on the scene his parents’ home already engulfed in flames, it was then he knew he had two families to serve.

"It was hard, but I still had something I had to do to finish it up so I could help my firefighters too," said Bishop.

Carl thought his family had made it safety, but he learned his brother was cut from jumping out of the window and his mother and grandmother needed hospitalization. But his father was trapped in the house.

"It just didn't work out to where we could get him out, at that point in time he was already deceased and I was the first one to actually see him," said Bishop.

Carl's brother Herman says this isn't the first time tragedy has struck the family.

"Two weeks before Thanksgiving my brother had a trailer fall on him and then the first of the year this happened," said Herman Bishop, family member.

The family lost their loved one and all of their belongings and now members of the community are helping them pick up the pieces.

"They don't have a place to live at this time and I really feel he needs to reach out and help this family," said Gary Dawkins, family minister.

The house and many family memories were destroyed in the fire. The community in Normangee is helping, but they need assistance. A trust fund has been set up at Normangee State Bank. But even if you can't give money, they are asking for donations of any kind, from bed linens to dishes to clothes. Anything you can give will help a family that lost everything.

For donations of household items and clothes call 936-396-1187.


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