ROBINSON (September 19, 2013) -- An early morning fire that destroyed a Robinson home on Wednesday has left a National Guard soldier and his family homeless.
The fire began a little after 1 a.m. and took nearly 4-5 hours to put out. It left Sgt. Jason Featherston and his family with nothing but each other.
“You know it was hard, realizing pictures, memories and things you can't replace were gone,” Sgt. Featherston said.
“I was heartbroken."
Featherston, his wife, and three of his children were asleep when the fire began.
"I heard a noise and it sounded like my alarm was going off. But then I realized it was the smoke detector," Featherston said.
"My wife and I ran upstairs, grabbed the kids, and ran outside."
Featherston says if it wasn't for his smoke detector, things may have been worse.
"The fire was close to the stairs, I don't know if we would have been able to get to the kids if we didn’t have one.”
Featherston, his wife and their two children have been living in hotel rooms since the blaze. The Sgt. has been in the National Guard for 17 years and has completed two tours in Iraq.
He’s also been a key volunteer during News 10’s “Food For Families,” the largest one-day food drive in Central Texas, for 6 years.
Now, the sacrifices Featherston has made for both his country and community are paying off in his family’s time of need.
The National Guard has already started a relief fund for his family.
Area H-E-B’s and Caritas of Waco, both key players in “Food For Families,” have offered to help Featherston with future needs.
For Featherston, it’s a huge sentiment for his years of work and dedication.
"You make sacrifices every day and now other people are sacrificing to help me," Featherston said.
"It makes everything in the past I've done more rewarding, because now everyone I’ve helped is turning around and helping me."
If you are interested in assisting with a monetary donation, the Jason Featherston Relief Fund has been established at Alliance Bank in Waco, on the corner of Bosque Boulevard and Lake Air Drive.