Midland Family Loses Their Home Due to an Unattended Candle

by Roma Vivas
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND- It only took five minutes for fire crews to stomp out the flames, but it was too late for Kendra Hodges' home. She and her three kids made it out safely, but their family dog died, and with the Holidays looming the family is grateful things didn't turn out worse.

"We do count our blessings," House Owner Merri Leonard, said.

Merri Leonard moved out of this house years ago, but watching it burn almost to the ground on Monday brought back memories.

"The home is a very old home, it was built in like 1927 or 1934, but it just got a lot of sentimental values with the kids," Leonard said.

Her daughter lived there with her three kids and husband and on Monday afternoon lost everything. With the holiday season just around the corner her mother is just glad they're safe.

"Everybody has come to come us and say 'but it's Christmas and all the toys are gone,' but then I say 'our kids are ok and the rest we can replaced,'" Leonard said.

And during these tough times, Leonard isn't surprised to see the Midland community offer help.

"People have come up and ask us what they can do and say if we need anything, they've offered blankets, clothes, food, money, a place to stay, it's just been wonderful."

NewsWest 9 spoke with Assistant Fire Marshal David Hickman with the Midland Fire Department, and he says fires like the one on Monday afternoon are a reminder of how an unattended candle can cause such a tragic event.

Hickman urges people to be very careful when they handle candles during this holiday season.