WHEATLAND– Winds gusting to 60 miles per hour Christmas Eve day helped fuel a fire and destroy the home of Jack and Molly Hamby located at 1056 Johnson Street in Wheatland.
The family had gotten their to-do lists pretty much done and everything was ready for the holiday festivities. As they had put the kids down for a nap, Jack noticed smoking drifting by the window where the children were slumbering.
“The kids were asleep for about 10 minutes,” he said. “I saw smoke coming past the window and I opened the front door and flames came shooting in. I told Molly to get the kids out now and I grabbed the kids and kind of tossed them to her and told her to get in the car and get out of the driveway.”
Hamby then grabbed the hose and began to spray the siding to the east of the front door which was exposed as the vinyl siding had all melted away.
“The fire department was actually on their way back from another fire,” he said. “They saw the smoke and they pulled right up in front of the house immediately and began to fight the fire.”
According to Molly Hamby, the fire which had started around 3 p.m. burned until 7:30 when the firemen had contained the fire which was pretty much contained in the attic. According to the Hamby’s, there has been no determination as to the origin point of the blaze, but they are believing that it happened outside their front door and could only speculate as to how it started.
“My husband got it out by the front door with the hose,” Molly Hamby said. “But it was too late, it had already gone into the attic.”
The wind which was fierce all week long was no friend to those fighting the fire. As a hole was cut into the side of the west end of the home, according to Jack Hamby, it created a wind tunnel and gusts of wind blew through and drove the flames all the way to the other side of the home.
The couple feels the home is a total loss and sits exposed without a roof and an inner ceiling. The flames have burned down into the roof joists and water damaged has destroyed some of the inner portions of the home. They are awaiting confirmation as to how much the insurance covers before they proceed with any definite plans. They were renting to own the property from Jack’s father-in-law.
At this point the couple and their two children, Fredrick 1 year old and Scarlett who is 3 years old are staying at the Best Western Motel in Wheatland where they have had a week’s stay donated so far.
The couple have a go fund me link on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/molly.sucher.3 where people can donate. Molly Hamby also said if anyone wants to help donate, they can also send money to 92 South Wheatland Highway. Wheatland Bible Church is taking donations for the family and has more information as to the needs.
“Everything that was Christmas got wiped out,” he said. “The community came together and the kids had a good Christmas. We have a room full of toys for them. We also have a bunch of clothes. They’ve helped us out a lot.”