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Family Picking Up The Pieces After Fatal House Fire

By: Toni Harrison
By: Toni Harrison

"They didn't know when they went to bed Friday night that they might not get up or they would have such a tragedy in their lives," said Beverley Nutall, family representative.

It's a tragedy many fear. But with help from friends and fellow church members, the Hamilton family is trying to remain strong after a fire destroyed their home, left their twins in the hospital with severe burns and took the lives of a son and a niece.

"The family right now is really striving hard to come together and understand why," said Nutall.

Fire crews were called just after 2:00 am Saturday, but the house was already engulfed in flames. Now caution tape surrounds the charred remains of the Hamilton home.

"The family lost everything, everything except for what they were wearing," said Nutall.

There were seven people in the house, five of them children, when the fire started. The two that were lost, Brandon Hubbard and Gabrielle Banks, both seven, were in a back bedroom, and fire officials could not get to them in time. But they did manage to save five-year-old twins Victor and Vickia, both air-lifted to Shriner's Burn Unit in Galveston; Vickia, with burns to nearly half of her body; Victor, clinging to life, 90 percent of his body burnt.

"They are so loving and to see them in that condition, just hurts so bad," said Fred Blair, family pastor, Allen Chapel A.M.E.

Once family pastor Fred Blair got the news, he drove to Galveston to be with the family. All the while searching for the right things to say to the grieving parents, Shae and Victor.

"The words just won't come to you, you really have to depend on your inner faith. When Shae came and she saw me she didn't need me to say anything, she just needed a big bear hug," said Blair.

Church members at Allen Chapel A.M.E. have come together to help the Hamiltons. A trust fund has been set up under the church's name at First National Bank to help them financially. With their thoughts and prayers for a family going through unspeakable pain, emotional help is already on the way.

If you would like to make a donation to the trust fund, you can contact First National Bank at 779-1111. The family is also in need of household items, such as furniture and dishes. Church members will make arrangements to pick up donations. You can contact Allen Chapel A.M.E. at 822-6402.


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