Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

April 2, 2014

Home goes up in smoke, locals rally to help

Mineral Wells Index


Quinton Douthit, 78, was working on his car when the fire started that would devastate his family's Mineral Wells home on Hayes Road on Friday, March 28.

Sparks from the power tools he was using hit dry grass in the building where he was working and the blaze quickly spread from there to his home, he said. His wife, Connie Douthit, was inside the home when the fire started and he alerted her and got her out as it spread.

“We got a garden hose out,” he said, “but by then the fire department was there. It took them four hours to get it out.”

He said his wife and neighbors reported the fire. His stepson, Troy Peterson, who also lives with them, had just arrived home from work when the fire started and his granddaughter Angelica Peterson was still at school.

Firefighters from the Mineral Wells Fire Department and three volunteer fire departments responded to the blaze at 5:22 p.m., said Mineral Wells Fire Chief Mike Pool. The fire department responded with a city engine, ambulance and officer's vehicle, and assisting with the fire were two tankers from the Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department, and tankers from Millsap and Cool-Garner Volunteer Fire Departments.

The fire spread from an outbuilding to the home and an abandoned mobile home, Pool said. “The home was a total loss.”

No one was injured and damage estimate had not been made, he said. He said the Red Cross assisted the family, who was uninsured.

The family has seen an outpouring of help from the Mineral Wells community and businesses such as Domino's Pizza, where his stepdaughter Trella Peterson is manager, Douthit, a route carrier for the Mineral Wells Index, said.

“Our neighbors have been real good to us,” he said. “The people of Mineral Wells have been good to us. Our motel room on one wall has nothing but [donated] clothes.”

But what has impressed him as much as anything has been the efforts of his grandson Eric Peterson and his wife Brittany, who have established an online crowdfunding campaign at gofundme.com. The campaign is listed as “Helping the Petersons.” She and Eric live in Oklahoma but said the Douthit home was “where everybody united.”

According to the website, the fund-raising goal is $3,000 and $895 had been raised as of 1:20 p.m. Tuesday, April 1.

“Anything can help,” Paxton notes on the website, and has also listed clothing sizes for each family member affected by the fire. She also notes, “These are the people who make sure your morning papers are delivered every day.”

They have received free storage from Armor Storage, Britanny Peterson said, and anyone can take donations there and mention they are donating to the Petersons.

The site can be accessed through a link on the Mineral Wells Index Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mineralwellsindex.

Mrs. Peterson can also be contacted at 940-452-1419.