|Updated: 8/07/2012 2:59 pm
||Published: 8/07/2012 2:56 pm
Big sister Lindsey Ellis tries to be tough for her younger brother and sister.
"I'm trying, but it's hard," Lindsey said.
The three kids and their mom and dad sit together at a white table. But it's not their table. They're not at home. They're at a shelter in Sand Springs set up for those who lost their homes in last weekend's grass fires.
For the Ellis family, the tears just keep coming.
Julie Ellis was at her Mannford home alone when it happened. She has MS and wasn't feeling well when her neighbor told her they had to get out.Grass fires roared toward their homes.
"Before we could get out the fires were coming at us. We drove through fire and smoke to get to highway," Julie said.
"I didn't have time to get anything."
Her husband, John, and their three kids were out of town when she called them and told them what was happening.
"We just dropped everything and ran," Lindsey said.
At a gas station in Mannford, a volunteer firefighter told them he nad tried, but he couldn't save their home.
"We went out there and yesterday and looked at the house," Julie said.
"It was devastating. I grew up, and it was just hard," Lindsey said.
"I mean, we just lost everything. There's nothing that can be scraped up," Julie said. "The pictures, you know, everything," Julie said.
"There was something that was inside that was very dear to me," Lindsey said.
It was an OSU hat her uncle gave her before he died.
"And I lost the only picture I had of him too," Lindsey said.
But what hurts the most is to save herself Julie had to leave their pets behind.
"I didn't even have time to get them," she said.
Three dogs were outside and two inside their home. They know the ones inside are gone. And they found another dead outside of what's left of their home.
They hang on to the tiniest bit of hope that maybe the other two made it out somehow - their black lab Big Boy and a red Daschund named Geddy.
"The dogs are family. They were all like kids," Julie said.
Somehow, even through all the sadness, Julie manages to say this:
"We've been really, really blessed," she said.
For the safety of the shelter, for a hug from a stranger and for people who care.
"We just sit around and cry, but we're gonna get through it. We'll make it," Julie said.
"There's so many good people around helping us with everything," Lindsey said.
"We're just hanging onto each other right now... that's all we can do at a time like this."
The Ellis family did have insurance that will help replace their home, but it did not cover the contents inside.