Assistance efforts after devastating fire
By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor
Pictured: Photo by John Stith
An unidentified firefighter from Tarpley assisted with efforts to save the home of BCSO Deputy Birdie Tyler and her family. Despite the combined efforts of three volunteer fire departments, the residence was 100 percent destroyed. A campaign is now underway to assist the family.
The home of Bandera County Sheriff's Office Deputy Birdie Tyler and her family was completely destroyed in a fire that occurred on Wednesday, March 26.
According to Fire Marshall John Stith, a call to emergency dispatch reporting the fire came in that afternoon. Shortly before calling 9-1-1, a person on the property noticed smoke coming from the manufactured home and heard a small explosion. "Explosions aren't uncommon with house fires," Stith said in an interview on Friday, March 28.
Responding units included volunteer fire departments from Pipe Creek, Lake Shore and Bandera. "Although the house was fully involved when fire departments arrived on the scene, firefighters were able to keep the flames from spreading to adjacent structures," Stith said. The residence was 100 percent destroyed.
No one was at home when the fire occurred and no injuries were reported by firefighters.
Because of Tyler's involvement with law enforcement, Stith consulted with personnel in Bexar County and with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. However, Stith's preliminary investigation determined that the fire was not suspicious.
Currently, efforts are ongoing to assist the family. Gift cards and gift certificates from stores, such as H-E-B, Wal-Mart and True Value Hardware, would be especially appreciated. "When you have a fire as devastating as this one, you lose everything and you need everything," said a family spokesman. The family also needs clothing for their two small girls in sizes 18 months and 3T and shoes in children's sizes 4 and 7, as well as size 4 diapers and wipes.
Other items needed include towels; sheets; toiletries; women's jeans size 32x34 and size 14 clothing; women's shoes 9.5 or 10 and 6.5 or 7; and men's T-shirts in L or XL. Donated items can be dropped off at Noah's Ark Daycare at Grace Lutheran Church, 467 Highway 173 North, in Bandera. Telephone is 830-796-4722.
Additionally, a bank account has been established in Tyler's name at Bandera Bank, 207 Highway 173 South. Telephone is 830-796-3711.
A benefit for the family will take place at 6:30 pm, Saturday, April 26, at The Kid Korral, 4173 Highway 16 South, near the Polly Peak intersection. The movie "Blindside" will be shown and proceeds from concessions will be earmarked for Tyler's family. Donations are also being solicited for a silent auctions. Donations can be dropped off at the office of County Auditor Christina Moeller, 1214 Hackberry Street, across from the courthouse.