The Braggs family finally slept in their own rooms Sunday night, after spending a week in a friend’s living room; what you need to understand, the mother and father have 12 children.
The wildfires flattened their Mannford home of 13 years. They had to stay at a friend’s home because it was too hard to split the family up into separate shelters.
“I didn’t want to separate the children,” said mother Deanna Braggs. “We could have done that but I think it would have been bad they needed to stay with us. Having 11 people to take care of is hard; you can’t find a hotel room for 11 children, even suites.”
Deanna and her husband, Larry, have 12 children and nine of them live with them. So in total they had 11 people that were homeless.
They finally decided to pack themselves into a three bedroom home in North Tulsa, where their oldest son lived.
“I am excited I get to sleep in here,” said one of their son’s, 5-year-old Daniel Graggs.
Deanna and Larry were not there when the fire happened. They were in Chicago attending their oldest son’s graduation ceremony from the United States Navy’s Boot Camp.
Their daughters alerted them to the fires in Mannford and that they were being told to evacuate. They grabbed a few things and took off. One of those things was a photo of a daughter who only lived an hour after she was worn two years ago. Their family has been through so much heartache already.
Deanna has lost four children because of pregnancy complications, that’s why they adopted four more. She did not think losing the house would be as hard as it had been because all of her children are safe.
“It’s not as bad as losing a child but it’s getting up there,” said Braggs.
Her family returned to the burned down home on Sunday. They tried to salvage anything that was left.
“Mommy, look a ring!” said one daughter.
“Oh my goodness, it still has the diamond in it!” said Braggs.
They found their two cats and one of their four dogs. They are still crossing their fingers the other three dogs will show up soon.
Families are leaving the Red Cross shelters that have been provided for those who lost their homes since the wildfires began.
One Resource Center remains open with partner agencies at: Mannford, OK First United Methodist Church, 100 E. Greenwood
First United Methodist Church, 100 E. Greenwood Avenue, Mannford.
Hours: -, Sunday through Wednesday
Red Cross Outreach Centers are open in Creek County at:
Olive Baptist Church
9372 S. 433rd W. Ave.
Monday through Wednesday,
Freedom Hill Baptist Church
9914 S. Hwy 48
Monday through Wednesday,
Contact number for clients in Oklahoma County to call and schedule appointments is 405-228-9500.
Contact number for clients in Cleveland County to call is 405-228-9500.
Contact number for clients in Payne County is (405) 372-1833.
How to Help:
Financial donations to Red Cross: www.redcross.org click make a donation.
Text REDCROSS to 90999 for $10 donation