Overnight fire destroys Bentley family of 7’s home

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BENTLEY, La. (KALB) - A Grant Parish family is without its home after an early morning fire left it a total loss.

The home of Michael and Heather Lewis in Bentley continues to smolder Monday morning. (Photo Credit: Melissa Lewis Chandler)

The home of Michael and Heather Lewis on the 600 block of Rock Hill Road in Bentley caught fire early Monday morning. Relatives tell us that the family, which includes five children between the ages of 4 to 15, got out with only the clothes they had worn to bed.

Fire departments from Hudson Creek, Dry Prong and Pollock responded to the scene. KALB has not been able to confirm with them yet the cause of the fire, though family said it appeared to have started in the utility room.

"I woke up about 3 o'clock Monday morning,” explained Heather. “I heard my husband coughing, screaming 'let's get out the house, there's a fire.' Then I start coughing and I open my eyes and there was nothing but smoke."

Lewis said watching her home of eight years being destroyed in front of her eyes was the most devastating thing she's ever been through.

"Where do we go from here,” wondered Heather. “Where do we stay? What do we do? I'm just lost for words."

But the house has been a part of the Lewis family for a lot longer than eight years. Her father-in-law, Julian Lewis, owned it. And so did his father before him.

"The house was built in 1957 when I was seven years old,” explained Julian. “I lived in it probably 60 years. Then I sold it to my son, and he was living in it when it caught fire. There’s a lot of memories in that house."

Now his childhood home is a total loss, and heather's family of seven is left with no possessions.

"They've been all devastated,” expressed Heather. “They don't have anything. No shoes, no nothing."

Fortunately, there's already been an outpour of aid for the family.

"People have brought clothes, shoes, donations, food, and drinks for us,” said Heather. “You know, everything. We've been pretty blessed with that."

The family said it's that support that's pulling them through.

"A lot of great people in Bentley,” said Julian. “A lot of great people in Grant Parish too."

At the end of the day, the Lewis family said it's not about what they lost; it's about what they still have.

"Blessed,” expressed Heather. “Very blessed to get them out. No one was hurt. We made it out, you know, we're alive."

"That's a miracle,” added Julian. “Everyone is safe and sound. You can replace TVs and pictures. But you can't replace people."

If you would like to help out, family member Melissa Lewis Chandler posted to Facebook Monday several items the family will be in need of including:

Little boy - 5/6 -13 shoe
Teen boy - 32/34 pants and medium shirts size 11.5 shoes
Girls- size 16 clothes 9.5 women shoe (yes ) 9.5 or 10 women’s
Girls- 10/13 clothes -4 shoes
Girls - 7/8 clothes -1 shoe
Mom- 26 waist or 5/6 size 8.5 shoes
Dad- 36/34 extra large shirts - 11.5 shoes

Also, the family has established a Go Fund Me Account to help raise money for those who wish to help.

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