The Woodward News

Local News

May 8, 2014

Area family dealing with damaged home north of Woodward

After years of carrying food to people who needed a meal, organizing fund raisers for people of Woodward County and others in need, the one of Woodward’s most helpful residents is going through her own disaster.

On Wednesday, Woodwardettes President, Marilyn Gibson and husband Joe stood outside of their, now unlivable home, situated south of Fort Supply and tried to organize her thoughts as family members moved furniture and items out of her home, damaged by Tuesday's wildfire.

In the wake of that firestorm, Gibson is still trying to make sense of what she has and what she has lost.

“All of our outbuildings are gone, the house is damaged – it’s hard to know what all is gone yet,” she said. “As soon as we get everything out of the house, the carpenter is putting together a crew to start doing what needs to be done.”

On Tuesday, Gibson had stopped at Woodward News before going home, to make sure all of the events her club, the Woodwardettes, had planned were going to be properly advertised. She had hopes of doing a lot of beneficial work for the community this week, a 100th year celebration for the philanthropic organization and its parent organization, the Oklahoma Home and Community Education organization through the OSU Extension Service.

That was just about 45 minutes before she got home to her house, at that time in the direct path of the fire and tried to pack her things, or at least as much as she could.

“We got there and were trying to pack and they came and forced us to evacuate and so we didn’t get to save much,” she said.

Wednesday afternoon, she was in a daze really, just trying to make sense of the disaster.

The chore at present is to clear out the home so repairs can begin, she said. She asked that people not try to bring food, as her home has no electricity.

All day Wednesday, neighbors and family members helped to secure trucks and trailers for her to move the contents of her home into while repairs are made.

One fairly new disaster aid organization, “Left Behind Disaster Victims” of Woodward also helped Wednesday finding another trailer for the family to off load their belongings onto. The organization also worked with KFC to provide 15 meals for everyone helping the Gibsons.

Gibson, a humble sort, said her plans are to stay with her nearby sister until she is able to move back into her home.

“Well, we have had the insurance company and everyone out here,” she said. “Last night, we are so thankful because we had fire trucks, about 30 or 40 of them surrounding the house all night long, protecting us.”

The couple, who own cattle in nearby pastures, still do not know the fate of their animals.

“The fences are all burned, we just don’t even know where they are,” she said.

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