BREMOND, Texas — Mark and Lainie Morris could never imagine the devastation that just befell them, leaving them homeless for the holidays.
Early last Sunday morning, Nov. 28, while Lainie was out of town visiting family, Mark was awoken by the frantic barking of his Australian shepherd, Boo.
“By the time I got the dog out, I couldn’t get out,” Mark said.
“I had to find another route, and it happened to be a window…
“I just had one of those old flannel shirts, and put that up against a window and busted it out as best I could.”
Nothing remains of the two-story home that the Morrises built in-between Bremond and Kosse.
Mark, a Bremond police officer, had constructed the house by hand over five years of time- his wife Lainie, a sergeant with the Limestone County Jail, working alongside him.
Lainie rushed back to the residence after receiving a 3 a.m. phone call from her husband, not realizing that Mark had suffered third-degree burns and open flesh wounds from broken glass.
“I was in such a daze when I got off that call, I kind of wandered around my mom’s house for a few minutes and slowly started putting stuff together,” she recalled.
“I loaded up my car, and bless my poor mother, I left a note that said ‘sorry, have to leave, Mark called, the house burned down.”
The Morrises aren’t sure what caused the fire, which had started on the back porch near some equipment. The couple was in the final stages of having their newly constructed house insured, but hadn’t finalized the paperwork.
The people of Bremond, Kosse and the Brazos Valley Thin Blue Line Foundation have come together to donate thousands of dollars in money and goods.
“It’s phenomenal, the support we’ve been getting from everybody,” Mark commented.
The pair remain homeless until they can bring a trailer onto their property and begin reconstruction.
They’ve lost their police service weapons and even their uniforms, all melted in the rubble.
The only sentimental things to survive the fire were an heirloom bracelet, and a ceramic manger set. Lainie discovered baby Jesus in the rubble Monday morning.
“There’s not much left, but we found four of the figures from the Nativity set, including the angel that still has the color on it,” she said. “… That’s proof to me that God was there with Mark that day.”
To help the Morrises rebuild their lives, those interested in making a donation can visit the Brazos Valley Thin Blue Line Foundation Facebook page, and send them a message for further information.
Written by Rebecca Fiedler