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Mannford wildfire victims giving thanks

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Reported by: Janna Clark
Updated: 11/22/2012 10:06 pm Published: 11/22/2012 9:58 pm

They aren't having Thanksgiving at home this year because there isn't a home to have it in. That's the situation for a lot of Mannford families who lost their homes in the wildfires last summer.

The Spencers are one of those families. Their home burned, and without insurance they couldn't rebuild it.

So husband and wife, Heath and Amber, are working together to transform a metal building into 1,800 square feet of living space.

They wanted to move in by Thanksgiving.

"I really thought I could do it," Heath said. "Hasn't worked out that way."

Between painful back problems and even more serious, a one-inch by once-inch tumor in the center of his brain, Heath doesn't always feel well enough to work.

"yesterday, I had a real bad moment. I looked around at everything that needs to be done, and I was just like, this sucks. Everything about it sucks," Heath said.

"There are times I just go climb in bed and bawl," Amber said.

And until their new home is finished, the Spencers and their two kids will keep living in a 38-foot fifth wheel trailer.

"With two kids, it gets a foot shorter every day," Heath said.

"It'd be nice for camping but not living," Amber said.

So they're driving 77 miles away from Mannford to make this Thanksgiving better than ever with extended family.

"I just want to carry on that tradition with my family," Amber said.

They're thankful for the basics.

"We'll always have a place to live and roof over our heads," Heath said.

"I'm grateful that I have my kids my husband," Amber said.

And they're grateful for small surprises like the yellow roses in their yard that somehow survived the fires.

"No matter what's thrown at you, you take it and go and keep on," Heath said.

"I know we'll make it, We've already made it this far," Amber said.

The Spencer said what they need now - are some helping hands - people to help them finish building their home, especially someone who has experience in carpentry.

To contact the Spencers, email them at Or call 918-951-5178.

There's also a fund set up at American Heritage Bank under the name: Amber Hammons Spencer.

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