Community makes sure Sapulpa family is not alone


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Updated: 3/25/2013 9:17 am Published: 3/22/2013 9:13 pm


The Obert-Thorn family was not home when their house burned down in Sapulpa on Christmas morning.

They are still not sure where they will live. 

However, a caring community and their church wants to make sure they are not alone.

“To use our mess behind us to bring his [God] message out and  offer hope to someone else which has been offered to us,” said Lora-Obert-Thorn.

She and her husband Keith say memories are about all that is left of  their home.

“Losing all of the film and pictures I had of my grandmother who raised me and I don’t have them anymore,” said the father.

The rusted cages tangled in the charred rubble are tough to see in what was in the living room.

“A cocker spaniel in this cage and a pug in this cage,” said Mr. Obert-Thorn.

Two of their four dogs were trapped in a fire on Christmas morning.

It was the oldest child’s dog named B-Dawg. “The companionship,” said 15-year-old Keilah. “Everything I had, I  had him for six years.”

Her little brother Lucas, 7, misses everything,  "My toys and my house."

As their mother digs through the rubble, she finds books her parents saved from when she was a child. 

“Just an  old book for my brother and I when we were kids,” said Lora Obert-Thorn.

Whitten is helping to lead the community effort to help the family move forward.

“When one hurts we all hurt,” said Whitten.

However, amid the hurt, people are coming together to help with the  difficult task of demolishing the home that fire destroyed.

“Tomorrow will be tough, today is tough just knowing what the next 24 hours will be like. Knowing that a part of your history is going to be gone, a part of who you are,  where you come from but it doesn’t define us.”

Instead it is making them stronger.

“I have to move on, I have five kids and a wife, I am not  going to quit. I have to keep working and pressing forward,” said Mr. Obert-Thorn.

Not knowing where they will live, this family of five has been staying at their pastor’s home for the past three months.

Just long enough for the church to pull together the $10,000 to demolish the home.

“To me it’s not how long, to me it’s amazing how quickly this is going,” said Pastor Terry Bell.

“Everything that gets done is less and less  that is off my shoulders to think about,” said Keith Obert-Thorn.

It’s  that support and their faith that give this family the ability to see beyond the  ashes. 

“The reason we are able to stand here today with the smiles  on our faces and being able to see the joy and the beauty amongst the ashes  because of our strong relationship with God,” said Mrs.  Obert-Thorn. 

Lora Obert-Thorn grew up in the home that burned  down.

The family moved back into the home five years ago to take care of  her disabled parents who are now living with other family. 

With the community’s continued support, they hope to raise enough money to move into  a new home. 

College students will be spending their weekend on spring break helping to clean up, the church will be out at the home.

If  you would like to help with the clean up, it starts at 8:00 am on Saturday at  306 W. McKinley, Sapulpa, OK. 

If you would like to make a monetary donation you can send a check to Life Park Christian Fellowship at P.O. Box  701170, Tulsa, OK. 

Businesses that donated to the  demolition: 
Chameleon Painting,  Kellymoore Paints, Hilti, Inc., Building Solutions and  WaterRock Homes.



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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Jrtile - 3/23/2013 8:34 PM
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Hey, coming from someone who was at the site all day today helping this amazing family; I can tell you that it is a complete misprint when fox23 says $10,000 was raised for demolition. Just over $1,000 was raised and $3-4000 more is still desperately needed to help pay for rented equipment, additional dumpsters and city permits, etc. Please help however you can!
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