In honor of their 38th wedding anniversary, Shawn Ford was having a patio built so his wife Lynette could have a convenient place to sit with their grandchildren and watch deer roaming in the field across from their home on Crestridge Drive in the Stroud Creek Estates subdivision.
But on Wednesday morning as hired workers were using a grinder to smooth out new welds on the metal framework of the patio, sparks set fire to the roof of the home. With a lack of rainfall and low humidity, flames quickly gutted the residence, which Shawn said was to be their retirement home and “was everything we needed and wanted.”
One of the workers tried to use a garden hose to douse the flames, but it was too late. The one-story, three-bedroom brick home was gutted by the flames and was a total loss, according to Jeff Young, a Hood County deputy fire marshal.
The workers and the homeowner were insured, and Red Cross was summoned to offer temporary housing assistance.
“Things happen, and I can’t question God,” Shawn said as he watched the volunteer firefighters complete their work. “I have faith in God. Everything’s going to turn out like it’s supposed to.”
Shawn has been friends for several years with the man who was using the grinder, and this incident won’t change anything between them because he knew it was strictly an accident, Shawn said. The man likely saved the life of the Fords’ dog, a Scottish terrier, when he thought to open the front door to provide an escape route for the pet.
One of the few items that appeared to be saved from inside the home was a grandfather clock, which was carried to the front yard by one of the firefighters.
Unfortunately for the Fords, a full remodeling job they began not long after moving from Burleson and buying the home in 2006 was “90 percent complete.”
Shawn said they had just finished remodeling the kitchen, which included installation of new cabinets and granite countertops.
Shawn, 56, also suffered a blow because he had a prized 1990 Chevrolet Corvette in the garage with “probably not 500 miles on it.” He said the vehicle, which he had been thinking about having repainted, also appeared to be heavily damaged.
Shawn, who works as a caretaker for an area estate, and his wife, a physical therapist, were both away from home when the fire began. Firefighters on the scene reported no injuries, Young said.
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