DIBBLE — Jerry and Tammy England found a decorative vase amid the rubble of their burnt log cabin Friday. Wiping the soot and ashes from its surface, Tammy England found hope in the words encircling the top. "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. Isaiah 40:31. "We need a little renewing of our strength today,” she said. The Englands were among several families in Grady and McClain counties who spent the day cleaning up after a fire swept across the rural area eight miles north of Lindsay Thursday. At its peak, the line of wildfires stretched six miles, according to local fire officials. It burned about 8,000 acres. The state fire marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the blaze, said Dibble Police Chief James Goins. At least 18 structures, many of them houses, were destroyed by the fire, he said. The Englands built their cabin retreat about 14 years ago to memorialize their son, Cory, who died suddenly from a brain aneurism when he was 17. Cory always loved to have sleepovers, so the family thought it would be a fun way for people to remember him. Over the years, the cabin, which slept about 20 people, was used for church retreats, weddings and family gatherings. People from all over central Oklahoma came to Cory’s Cabin, the family said. "Our daughter got married out here,” Tammy England said. "It has a lot of memories in it.” The cabin sat in front of the family’s home. The flames swept through in a matter of minutes, burning everything else in sight, but their house was spared, said Jerry England. Many weren’t so lucky, he said. Tammy England was at home with her two grandchildren when she saw the smoke. "It hit so quick there was no time to do anything,” she said. She got the children in the car and fled. Fifteen minutes later she came back to find the cabin and other outbuildings around her home burned to the ground. "It was terrifying,” she said. The family doesn’t yet know if they’ll rebuild the cabin, but the memories they have from there are something not even the fire could take away, they said.
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