Home destroyed, family of 13 escapes Pratt County house fire

Update

A family's home of 22 years is left in ruins after an early Monday-morning fire. But while the structure is gone, the family says what's important is that all 13 people inside the home got out safely.

"Our family is out and safe, and that is, at the end of the day, all we care about," homeowner and mother of 11 children, Carla Washington says.

Carla and her husband, William, remain thankful as they look at what remains of their house. They, along with their 11 children and several pets all escaped injury.

Carla says one of the family's dogs woke her up.

"She'll let me know when she wants to go out and go to the bathroom, and so she was whimpering. And I got up to let her out, and I smelled the smoke," Carla says.

She says the fire started underneath her and her husband's bedroom, in the basement. The Sawyer fire chief says the cause is believed to be electrical. Crews from several volunteer fire departments responded, trying to save as much of the Washingtons' home as possible.

"My uncle is one of them. We have various friends in the fire department," Carla says. "We're so thankful for them coming out here. It was a miserable morning weather-wise for them, but we're very thankful."

The Washingtons next will begin the rebuilding process. In that effort, they're already getting support from the community.

"Organizing a meal train and food and clothes and shoes for the kids; most of our kids didn't have any shoes or a jacket when they got out of the house. They were just in their pajamas," Carla says.

Carla says the response to rally around her family also includes emotional support and encouragement with hugs and prayers.

The First Southern Baptist Church in Pratt is organizing some of the donations for the family, and if people want to help, they can contact the church (620) 672-7591. They're currently looking to collect gift cards.

A Go Fund Me has also been set up to support the family.

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Authorities in Pratt County spent much of Monday morning battling a massive house fire.

That fire broke out Monday morning in the 60300 block of SE 70th Street.

There are no reports of injuries.

Watch for updates on KWCH 12 and the KWCH 12 App.