As fires neared Christina Myers’ home Thursday, she had moments to decide what to save. "My husband asked me, ‘What means the most to you?’” she said. The family grabbed three urns and left the home she had grown up in. The urns contained the remains of Myers’ mother, father and sister. "This has been the worst thing ever, and that’s saying a lot, actually,” Myers said. "My mom had died, my dad died, my sister died, and all these other deaths that we had in the family. My 19-year-old niece, and there was more than that. And then all of a sudden, this happened, and this was the home I was raised in.” Their house was one of 58 destroyed by wildfires in Choctaw. In a night, more than a century of family history was lost. "I was the keeper of everyone’s things,” she said. Possessions lost in the fire included a World War I sword that her great-great-grandfather had given her son, quilts that had been made by her great-great-grandmother, furniture that belonged to her aunt and many other irreplaceable items. Myers’ home didn’t have insurance. Her mother had a policy on the home, but it lapsed after her passing. Before they got a new policy, they built a barn to help store her mother’s possessions. Her husband hammered the final nail Thursday.
Keeping family togetherThe Red Cross has offered to help with rent, but the family cannot find a place in Choctaw large enough for her family. "That’s the main thing. I want my family all back together on the land that I grew up on and they have grown up on,” Myers said. Her family is spread across the metro area, and the first thing she wants is for them to stay together. Aside from that, Myers said she doesn’t know what she can do. "People ask me, ‘How does it feel?’ and the way I tell them is you think about every person that you’ve ever lost from the time you were a little kid until now, and you think about that, and its like reliving all that all over again, but this time it’s final,” Myers said. "And that’s how it feels, because every little piece you’ve had of them is gone.”
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AT A GLANCEHow to get help Several American Red Cross offices will help fire victims at their county offices today. Field offices set up last week have closed. Items needed for cleaning up damaged and destroyed property are available at the following locations:
• American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma, 601 NE 6, Oklahoma City.
• South Central American Red Cross, 1006 NW Blvd., Ardmore.
• Great Plains American Red Cross, 401 W Gore Blvd., Lawton.
• Heart of Oklahoma American Red Cross, 1205 Halley Ave., Norman.
How to helpFor information about how to donate to help fire victims or to get assistance from wildfires, call 228-9500 or go to okc.redcross.org.
Another way to helpEastside Church of Christ, in partnership with the Church of Christ Relief Effort based in Nashville, will open a relief site at 8 a.m. today at 916 S Douglas. Food boxes, infant care supplies, clothing, cleaning supplies and hygiene supplies will be available. For more information, call 732-0393.